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Fact Sheet -- Middle East and North Africa

Summary of Doing Businessreforms:

Algeria improved its credit information system through a new ordinance guaranteeing the right of borrowers to inspect their personal data.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (credit information)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 148     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 143

Bahrain
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 38     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 33

Djibouti made trading across borders faster by developing a new terminal, the Doraleh Container Terminal. The new terminal is capable of serving larger vessels and added extra handling capacity. Djibouti made dealing with construction permits costlier by increasing the fees for inspections and the building permit and adding a new inspection in the preconstruction phase.
Areas of business regulation reform: Trading across borders, Dealing with construction permits (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 170     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 167

The Arab Republic of Egypt
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 110     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 108

The Islamic Republic of Iran
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 144     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 140

In Iraq starting a business became more expensive because of an increase in the cost to obtain a name reservation certificate and in the cost for lawyers to draft articles of association.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 164     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 159

Jordan made trading across borders faster by introducing X-ray scanners to improve the risk management system for customs inspections and by electronically connecting customs and the port operator (Aqaba Container Terminal). Jordan also made starting a business easier. It reduced the minimum capital requirement from 1,000 Jordanian dinars to 1 dinar, of which only half must be deposited before company registration.
Areas of business regulation reform: Trading across borders, Starting a business
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 96     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 95

Kuwait
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 67     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 71

Lebanon made getting electricity less costly by reducing the application fee and security deposit for a new electricity connection. This was done as part of a major revision by the Ministry of Energy.  
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting electricity
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 104     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 103

Morocco made dealing with construction permits easier.  A one-stop shop  became fully operational and widely used by the second half of 2010. In addition, Morocco eased the administrative burden of paying taxes for firms by enhancing electronic filing and payment of the corporate income tax and value added tax. The two electronic systems are now used by the majority of taxpayers. Morocco strengthened investor protections by allowing minority shareholders to obtain any nonconfidential corporate document during trial.
Areas of business regulation reform: Dealing with construction permits, Paying taxes, Protecting investors
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 94     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 115

Oman improved its credit information system by launching the Bank Credit and Statistical Bureau System, which collects historical information on performing and nonperforming loans for both firms and individuals. In addition, Oman introduced online company registration and reduced the time to register a business Oman made it easier to pay taxes by enacting a new income tax law that redefined the scope of taxation.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (credit information), Starting a business, Paying taxes
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 49     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 53

Qatar improved its credit information system by starting to distribute historical data and eliminating the minimum threshold for loans included in the database. The Qatar Credit Bureau, which became operational in March 2011, collects and distributes historical credit information—both positive and negative. Qatar also made starting a business easier, by combining commercial registration and registration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the one-stop shop. Qatar made dealing with construction permits more difficult by increasing the time and cost to process building permits.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (credit information), Starting a business, Dealing with construction permits (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 36     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 38

Saudi Arabia made starting a business easier by bringing together representatives from the Department of Zakat and Income Tax and the General Organization of Social Insurance at the Unified Center to register new companies with their agencies.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 12     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 10

The Syrian Arab Republic made starting a business less costly by reducing the minimum capital requirement and by reducing the cost of publication for the registration notice.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 134     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 136

Tunisia
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 46     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 40

The United Arab Emirates improved its credit information system through a new law allowing the establishment of a federal credit bureau under the supervision of the central bank. The new law also allows the free flow of credit information among credit providers (including utilities and retailers). In addition, the United Arab Emirates made starting a business easier by merging the requirements to file company documents with the Department for Economic Development, to obtain a trade license, and to register with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (credit information), Starting a business
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 33     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 35

West Bank and Gaza
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 131     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 128

The Republic of Yemen enacted a new tax law that reduced the general corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and abolished all tax exemptions except those granted under the investment law for investment projects.
Areas of business regulation reform: Paying taxes
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 99     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 94

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For more information on Doing Business 2012, please contact:
Nadine Ghannam +1 (202) 473-3011
E-mail: nsghannam@ifc.org

Sushmitha Narsiah +1 (202) 473-0995 
E-mail: snarsiah@worldbank.org

Contacts for region-specific queries on Doing Business 2012:
Middle East and North Africa

Riham Mustafa +202 (2) 4691-4230
E-mail: rmustafa@ifc.org

Tina Taheri Moayed 1 (202) 473-1075 
E-mail: ttaheri@worldbank.org