Israel has the 49th easiest economy for doing business worldwide, an improvement of five places since last year, according to the World Bank Group’s “Doing Business 2019” report, published Wednesday.
The annual report evaluates regulations enhancing and constraining business activities across 190 economies and selected cities. The final ranking is based on regulations affecting 10 areas of the life of a business, including starting a business, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders.
Most indicators focused on the largest business city of each economy. In Israel, the report therefore evaluated ease of business in Tel Aviv.
New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark were considered to be the three leading world economies for ease of business. Somalia, Eritrea and Venezuela found themselves at the other end of the spectrum.
Israel’s rise in the world rankings is largely due to reforms making registering property easier. Since the last report, Israel has reduced the time needed to obtain a municipal tax clearance certificate and increased the transparency of the land registry and cadester. Israel has accordingly risen from 130th to 89th place worldwide for registering property.
The report also cited the extension of paid maternity leave from 14 to 15 weeks implemented last year and the one-hour cut in the official workweek to 42 hours since April 1.
Despite the reform, Israelis still spend more time in the office than workers in other developed countries. In 2016, Israelis worked on average 1,889 hours per year, higher than the OECD average of 1,763 hours.
The West Bank and Gaza Strip, based on the ease of doing business in Ramallah, were ranked 116th worldwide.
The report cited Palestinian Authority reforms making property registration easier by removing a mandatory requirement to obtain a security check when issuing a purchase permit, and publishing official statistics on property transactions at the land registry.