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FinMin: Gov’t steps had much to do with advance on Doing Business list - extended

Reforms carried out by the government in the past two years had much to do with Hungary’s nine-spot advance on the World Bank’s latest Doing Business ranking, Finance Minister János Veres said on Thursday.

Hungary moved up nine spots to 41st position in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2009 ranking, which tracks reforms aimed at simplifying business regulations, strengthening property rights, opening up access to credit and enforcing contracts.

The World Bank’s objective opinion shows the steps taken so far have been in the right direction, Veres said. He added that the government is ready to take further steps in the interest of improving Hungary’s competitiveness.

Hungary was ahead of Slovenia (54th) on the Doing Business 2009 list, as well as the Czech Republic (75th) and Poland (76th). Ahead of it were Slovakia (36th), Lithuania (28th) and Estonia (22nd).

The report ranked Hungary eighth in terms of the ease of setting up a business and fifth in an evaluation of reforms of the process of registering property. The report criticized the lengthy and complicated process of obtaining building permits, but praised their low cost.

 

The report criticized the lengthy and complicated process of obtaining building permits, but praised their low cost.

World Bank country director Orsalia Kalantzopoulos said Slovenia made a ten-spot advance, the highest among the EU members, but the country is still behind Hungary. Ms Kalantzopoulos added that Slovakia placed before Hungary, but some old EU members, such as Portugal, Spain or Luxemburg, ranked after Hungary.

World Bank chief economist Simeon Djankov said Hungary lags behind mainly in the fields of taxation, payment of taxes and the protection of small shareholders’ rights. Djankov added that Hungary has made significant steps to simplify the registration of companies over the past year. (MTI-Econews)