Tel Aviv (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)
Tel Aviv (Shutterstock)

“This is an important achievement. It needs to be continued,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

By United with Israel Staff

Israel is moving up in the business world. A recent World Bank report ranked Israel above Switzerland for “ease of doing business” in a survey of 190 countries This ranking represented an unprecedented 14 place jump from last year’s report.

The study focuses on the largest business cities of each economy. For Israel, Tel Aviv was chosen.

The study evaluates 12 specific areas of regulation of small- and medium-size businesses over a 12-month period. These include processes for incorporating a business, getting a building permit, obtaining an electricity connection, transferring property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, engaging in international trade, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, employing workers, and contracting with the government.

Israel’s regulatory improvements were in starting a business, getting credit, paying taxes and cross-border trading, the report said. Israel also introduced of an electronic system for filing and paying value added tax and social security contributions. It also decreased corporate income tax rates, lowering the cost of paying taxes.

Israel also made exporting easier by eliminating the certificate of origin requirement. By doing this, the time and cost of export documentation compliance has decreased.

“There are approximately 200 countries, and we rose last year from 54th place to 49th place, and this year we jumped to 35th place – a very large jump,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “There is still some way to go, but the praiseworthy work carried out by the Finance Ministry, the accountant-general, the Justice Ministry, and our office is changing the face of the Israeli economy. This is an important achievement. It needs to be continued.”

Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said of the report, “[T]his is tremendous news for the Israeli economy, and it’s a signal and message to global markets and to international investors: Come to invest here, it’s much easier to do business and there is much less bureaucracy.”

Daphna Aviram-Nitzan, the director of the Israel Democracy Institute’s Center for Governance and the Economy believes that Israel’s next step to continue tackling regulatory burdens is to digitize all its bureaucratic procedures. This “could propel Israel into [one of] the leading nations for ease of business,” she said, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The top ranking entries were New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong. The most difficult countries to do business in were Somalia, Eritrea and Venezuela.

At the start of Netanyahu’s weekly cabinet meeting in July that focused on decreasing business regulations in Israel, he said, “I want another jump forward. I want to be above the average; in the middle is not a good place. I want to be one of the least bureaucratic countries, least regulated countries, in the world, because this means money in consumers’ pockets.”

It appears that his desires are materializing!

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