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Where should you set up shop? Much depends on where the government acts as your concierge, and where it acts as your parole officer. "Doing Business 2009," the latest edition of an annual survey carried out by the World Bank and one of its subsidiaries, the International Finance Corporation, comes to a surprising conclusion: It is now easier to do business in eastern Europe than in East Asia.
Every year the survey tracks the state of business regulation in 181 countries and then ranks them using a scorecard that takes into account how long it takes to set up a business, how easy it is to hire and fire workers, and the level of corporate taxes, among other things. This year, as in the previous five years, economies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia have consistently seen the fastest pace of positive reform. Last year their average ranking was neck and neck with that of countries from East Asia and the Pacific. But this year the eastern European countries pulled ahead, with an average ranking of 76, compared with an average ranking of 81 for East Asian countries.
Source: The Economist, http://www.economist.com
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