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October 24, 2019 3:56 pm

Jump in World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ Rankings Hailed as ‘Great News’ for Israeli Economy

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

Cars drive on a highway as a train enters a station in Tel Aviv, Israel, Nov. 25, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Corinna Kern.

Israel jumped 14 spots this year in the World Bank’s annual “Ease of Doing Business” rankings, which were published on Thursday.

The move from 49th to 35th place was celebrated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an “important achievement.”

“There is still a way to go,” he noted, “but the work that has been done by the Finance Ministry, including the accountant general, the Justice Ministry and our ministry is a very welcome effort that is changing the face of the Israeli economy.”

The rankings — of 190 economies across the globe — took into the account the regulatory environments in ten different realms: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

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Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon stated, “It seems that lowering taxes is one of the most important parameters in jumping us forward in the ranking. But this is great news for the Israeli economy. It is a signal. The messages are also for global markets and international investors: Come invest here. It is much easier to do business; there is much less bureaucracy. And, of course, [it is a message] for the international credit rating firms, which see that the State of Israel is moving in the right direction.”

Ronnie Chizkiyahu — the Finance Ministry’s accountant general – said, “Improving the ease of doing business will, in the end, lead us to greater productivity, which will accelerate growth. This is our goal.”

The top ten spots in the rankings were filled by New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Denmark, South Korea, the United States, Georgia, the United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden.

The bottom of the list was rounded out by Libya, Yemen, Venezuela, Eritrea and Somalia.

At #35, Israel was sandwiched between Azerbaijan and Switzerland.

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