Businesses not made welcome

Greece has become a less friendly country in which to run a business relative to last year, according to survey results made public yesterday, one day after news that the economy’s competitiveness has further eroded. The survey compiled by the World Bank on the ease of doing business in 183 countries, ranked Greece in 109th position, down nine places from last year. Greece lost marks on eight of the 10 scorecards, including points awarded for starting a business, employing workers, paying taxes and trading across borders. In Greece, 15 steps are required to start an enterprise, versus an average of 5.7 in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, according to the report. Paying taxes demands 224 hours per year for a medium-sized company as opposed to 194 hours in other OECD states, while 25 days are needed to import goods into the country. The OECD average stands at 11 days. The survey ranks economies based on 10 indicators of business regulation, assessing the time and cost to meet government requirements in starting, operating and closing a business. The only area in which Greece gained ground was regarding the issue of credit. «Greece’s private credit bureau, Tiresias, expanded the amount of information it distributes in its credit reports, enhancing access to credit information,» the report said. Singapore topped the global list, followed by New Zealand, Hong Kong and the United States. The survey found it is easier to do business in Lebanon, Ethiopia and Pakistan than it is in Greece. The news comes a day after the World Economic Forum showed Greece slipping four places to 71st on a global competitiveness index ranking 133 nations. Greek government regulations, corruption and inflexible labor market laws were among the key reasons for the country’s low score. [email protected]