How easy is it to do business in China? The World Bank ranks it as 79th out of 183 countries where it tracks the regulatory environment for entrepreneurs. Singapore is number one; the U.S. number five. There is more to business success than rules and regulations, of course, but the World Bank’s study does provide a way to quantify the red tape that can get in the way.
The Bank’s newly published analysis of China in its Doing Business Series breaks the overall ranking into nine categories. China ranks worst on dealing with construction permits (181st), starting a business (151st) and paying taxes (114th). It fares much better when it comes to enforcing contracts (15th), registering property (38th) and trading across borders (50th). The middling categories are getting credit (65th), closing a business (68th) and protecting investors (93rd).
Comparing, the Bank’s latest study to its one five years ago, China has become measurably more business-friendly, showing at least half as much progress again as its fellow BRICs, Brazil, Russia and India. How does that compare to your own experience?