Israel stages Ease of Doing Business turnaround

Rony Hizkiyahu Photo: Tamar Matsafi

After years of decline, Israel climbed five places in this year's World Bank Ease of Doing Business rankings, thanks to efforts led by Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu.

The Ministry of Finance has expressed great satisfaction at the change in the trend of Israel's place in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking. The latest rankings released by the World Bank today show Israel climbing five places to 49th.

The Ministry of Finance points out that this year's advance follows consecutive declines in recent years. The World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index is considered the most important index in the world for measuring the bureaucratic burden on businesses, and a country's ranking carries great symbolic importance. The index was launched in 2006, when Israel was ranked 26th. Since then, Israel has slipped in the rankings, reaching 54th place last year.

Israel scored very poorly in some of the sub-rankings of which the final ranking is composed. Last year, Israel was ranked 130th (and almost last) for registering property, 99th for paying taxes, and 92nd for enforcing contracts. In the current rankings, Israel has shot up 41 places for registering property (to 89th), thanks to the introduction of Land Registry (Tabu) entries via the Internet.

Israel improved 24 places, from 65th to 41st, for dealing with construction permits. On the other hand, it is still ranked low for enforcing contracts and paying taxes (90th in both categories). In categories in which Israel scored well in the past, it has declined, falling seven places (from 16th to 23rd) for protecting minority investors, and eight places (from 37th to 45th) for starting a business. Israel fell to 60th place from 55th for getting credit, and three places to 29th for resolving insolvency.

The Ministry of Finance sees the overall improvement in Israel's ranking by five places as the fruit of a focused effort led personally by Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu. Hizkiyahu, who sees improving Israel's business environment as one of his two chief goals, was described as "the person in general charge of liaison with the World Bank."

An inter-ministerial delegation headed by Hizkiyahu visited the World Bank's offices in Washington DC this year and presented the changes and improvements introduced in various areas by government ministries. "The change in the trend reflects the improvement that has taken place in processes within government ministries in the past few years, among other things through a switch to online processes. In a joint presentation with the relevant ministries, we showed the World Bank the data and the measures carried out in recent years in five of the ten components of the index."

The ranking, it should be pointed out, is relative, and Israel is in competition with other countries that are also working to improve their rankings on the index.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 31, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Rony Hizkiyahu Photo: Tamar Matsafi
Rony Hizkiyahu Photo: Tamar Matsafi
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