Bulgaria fell two spots in the World Bank’s annual Doing Business report, ranking 66th out of 195 countries surveyed, losing ground in six of the 10 categories used by the report.
The biggest drops were in the “starting a business” and “paying taxes” categories, where Bulgaria dropped by nine and eight places, respectively. The country now ranks 57th in terms of ease of starting a new business and 91st in terms of ease of paying taxes.
Bulgaria’s strongest categories remain getting credit, where the country ranked 40th (down two spots), and protecting investors, where it ranked 49th (down three spots). In terms of registering property, Bulgaria ranked 68th (no change).
Dealing with construction permits (123rd, four spots down) and connection to the electrical grid (128th, three spots down) were again the worst aspects of doing business in Bulgaria.
There was a silver lining though, as Bulgaria improved in terms of trading across borders (to 93rd, two spots up), enforcing contracts (86th, two spots up) and resolving insolvency (93rd, one spot up).
Despite the drop, Bulgaria was still ahead of its neighbours with larger economies – Turkey ranked 71st, Romania was 72nd and Greece ranked 78th – but behind Macedonia, which was 23rd.
Singapore remained at the top of the ranking for a seventh year running, followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, United States and Denmark.
Poland was the “global top improver”, rising from 62nd to 55th in the rankings. Nine other countries were recognised as having the most improved ease of doing business across several areas of regulation as measured by the report, including Greece, Serbia and Ukraine.
(Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov, pictured, a former World Bank economist, was one of the architects of the Doing Business report, published since 2001.)