Russell Bedford International has, for the 11th consecutive year, assisted the World Bank in researching its annual Doing Business project, contributing data on tax regulation, recent reforms, and the real costs of tax compliance worldwide

The report, Doing Business 2020, which over 40 Russell Bedford firms contributed to, shows that governments worldwide are motivated to undertake business reforms with the goal of bolstering sustainable economic growth.

This latest report finds that governments of 115 economies globally implemented 294 reforms to enhance the ease of doing business for domestic, private sector businesses which aids creation of more jobs while increasing commercial activity and incomes.

The report lists New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong as the top three economies for ease of doing business, and this year’s top economies where business climates improved the most were Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Togo.

Economies in Europe and Central Asia demonstrated strong momentum to improve their business climates, enacting 56 reforms and leading globally in reforms on paying taxes and enforcing contracts.

In the Middle East and North Africa region reforms have been on a steady rise, recording the most reforms on record to ease of doing business for domestic enterprises, up 14 from the previous year to 57 business regulatory reforms.

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Speaking about the report’s findings, World Bank Group President David Malpass said: “Governments can foster market-oriented development and broad-based growth by creating rules that help businesses launch, hire, and expand. Removing barriers facing entrepreneurs generates better jobs, more tax revenues, and higher incomes, all of which are necessary to reduce poverty and raise living standards.”

Stephen Hamlet, CEO, Russell Bedford International commented: "It is encouraging to see governments continue to strive towards achieving sustainable economic growth through the introduction of reforms that simplify regulations and procedures. For the past 11 years Russell Bedford has continued to contribute to this worthy project which helps to provide businesses with useful information in support of their cross-border investment projects.”