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Business Reforms in Middle East & North Africa

Positive= Doing Business reform making it easier to do business.Negative= Change making it more difficult to do business.

Algeria

DB 2017:

Algeria made starting a business easier by eliminating the minimum capital requirement for business incorporation.

Algeria made dealing with construction permits indicator faster by reducing the time to obtain a construction permit.

Algeria made getting electricity more transparent by publishing electricity tariff s on the websites of the utility and the energy regulator.

Algeria made paying taxes less costly by decreasing the tax on professional activities rate. The introduction of advanced accounting systems also made paying taxes easier.

DB 2016:

Algeria made starting a business easier by eliminating the requirement to obtain managers’ criminal records.

Algeria made dealing with construction permits easier by eliminating the legal requirement to provide a certified copy of a property title when applying for a building permit.

DB 2015:

Algeria made trading across borders easier by upgrading infrastructure at the port of Algiers.

DB 2013:

Algeria improved access to credit information by eliminating the minimum threshold for loans to be included in the database.

DB 2012:

Algeria improved its credit information system by guaranteeing by law the right of borrowers to inspect their personal data.

DB 2010:

Algeria enhanced its construction permitting process by introducing new regulations aimed at improving the administration of the process and at ensuring the safe and timely completion of construction projects.

Algeria made registering property easier and less costly by reducing notary fees and eliminating the capital gains tax.

Algeria made paying taxes less costly for companies by reducing the corporate income tax rate for tourism, construction and public works, and the production of goods.

Algeria improved contract enforcement by introducing a new civil procedure code that reduces the steps and time required and by fully computerizing the courts, including by setting up an electronic case management system.

DB 2008:

Algeria made trading across borders more difficult by increasing the number of inspections carried out.

Bahrain

DB 2018:

Bahrain made paying taxes more complicated by introducing a new health care contribution borne by the employer.

DB 2017:

Bahrain made starting a business easier by reducing the minimum capital requirement.

Bahrain improved access to credit information by guaranteeing by law borrowers’ right to inspect their own data.

Bahrain made exporting easier by improving infrastructure and streamlining procedures at the King Fahad Causeway.

DB 2015:

Bahrain made registering property easier by reducing the registration fee.

Bahrain improved access to credit information by approving the credit bureau’s collection of data on firms.

DB 2014:

Bahrain made starting a business more expensive by increasing the cost of the business registration certificate.

Bahrain improved access to credit information by starting to collect payment information from retailers.

Bahrain reduced the maximum cumulative duration of fixed-term contracts, made third-party notification mandatory for redundancy dismissals and increased paid annual leave.

DB 2011:

Bahrain made registering property more burdensome by increasing the fees at the Survey and Land Registration Bureau.

Bahrain made it easier to trade by building a modern new port, improving the electronic data interchange system and introducing risk-based inspections.

DB 2010:

Bahrain made dealing with construction permits easier by further consolidating preliminary approvals for building permits in the one-stop shop and reducing the time needed to obtain a building permit.

Djibouti

DB 2018:

Djibouti made starting a business less costly by exempting new companies from professional license fees and reducing fees to register a business and publish the notice of commencement.

Djibouti made obtaining a construction permit easier by reducing the cost of concrete inspections and by implementing decennial liability for all professionals involved in construction projects.

Djibouti made registering property easier by increasing the transparency of the land administration system.

Djibouti improved access to credit information by adopting a law that creates a new credit information system.

Djibouti strengthened minority investor protections by requiring greater disclosure of transactions with interested parties, strengthening remedies against interested directors, extending access to corporate information before trial, increasing shareholder rights and role in major corporate decisions, clarifying ownership and control structures and requiring greater corporate transparency.

DB 2015:

Djibouti made dealing with construction permits less time-consuming by streamlining the review process for building permits.

DB 2014:

Djibouti made starting a business easier by simplifying the company name search and by eliminating the minimum capital requirement as well as the requirement to publish a notice of commencement of activities.

Djibouti strengthened its secured transactions system by adopting a new commercial code, which broadens the range of movable assets that can be used as collateral.

Djibouti made resolving insolvency easier through its new commercial code, which allows an insolvent debtor to file for preventive settlement, legal redress or liquidation and sets out clear rules on the steps and procedures for each of the alternatives available.

DB 2012:

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.

Djibouti made trading across borders faster by developing a new container terminal.

DB 2010:

Djibouti made paying taxes more complicated for companies by introducing a value added tax on the supply of goods and services.

DB 2009:

Djibouti reduced documentation requirements for exporting and importing, and time for importing, by improving port administration and eliminating some health and technical formalities.

DB 2008:

Djibouti made property registration faster by improving efficiency at the Service des Domaines.

Djibouti made trading across borders easier by implementing an electronic manifest system.

Egypt, Arab Rep.

DB 2018:

The Arab Republic of Egypt made it more difficult to register property by raising the cost to verify and ratify a sales contract.

The Arab Republic of Egypt strengthened minority investor protections by increasing shareholder rights and role in major corporate decisions.

DB 2017:

The Arab Republic of Egypt made starting a business easier by merging procedures at the one-stop shop by introducing a follow-up unit in charge of liaising with the tax and labor authority on behalf of the company.

The Arab Republic of Egypt strengthened minority investor protections by increasing shareholder rights and role in major corporate decisions and by clarifying ownership and control structures.

The Arab Republic of Egypt made trading across borders more difficult by making the process of obtaining and processing documents more complex and by imposing a cap on foreign exchange deposits and withdrawals for imports.

DB 2016:

The Arab Republic of Egypt strengthened minority investor protections by barring subsidiaries from acquiring shares issued by their parent company.

DB 2015:

The Arab Republic of Egypt strengthened minority investor protections by introducing additional requirements for approval of related-party transactions and greater requirements for disclosure of such transactions to the stock exchange.

DB 2014:

Egypt made paying taxes more costly for companies by increasing the corporate income tax rate.

DB 2011:

Egypt reduced the cost to start a business.

Egypt made trading easier by introducing an electronic system for submitting export and import documents.

DB 2010:

Egypt made starting a business easier by eliminating the minimum capital requirement.

Egypt made dealing with construction permits easier by issuing executive articles implementing its new construction law and by eliminating most preapprovals for building permits.

In Egypt the private credit bureau I-score added retailers to its database, improving access to credit information.

Egypt made enforcing contracts easier by creating commercial courts.

DB 2009:

Egypt made starting a business easier by reducing the paid-in minimum capital requirement, abolishing bar association fees and automating tax registration.

Egypt made dealing with construction permits easier through a new building code establishing a single window for processing construction-related approvals.

Egypt speeded up property registration by simplifying administrative procedures, reorganizing the business workflow between the real estate registry and the Egyptian Surveying Authority and introducing time limits for several procedures.

Egypt improved access to credit information by guaranteeing borrowers’ right to inspect their own data in the private credit bureau.

Egypt strengthened investor protections by introducing a requirement that an independent auditor assess related-party transactions before approval.

Egypt made trading across borders easier by upgrading port facilities at Alexandria and speeding up customs clearance, while greater competition in the banking sector led to a reduction in the time to open a letter of credit.

DB 2008:

Egypt made starting a business easier by lowering registration fees, improving the process at the one-stop shop and reducing the minimum capital requirement.

Egypt made dealing with construction permits less costly by reducing the fee for registering a new building.

Egypt reduced the cost of registering property by introducing a low fixed fee.

Egypt improved access to credit information by creating a new private credit bureau, which will distribute negative data on both individuals and firms and, as guaranteed by law, allow borrowers access to their credit information.

Egypt made trading across borders easier by improving customs administration.

Iran, Islamic Rep.

DB 2018:

The Islamic Republic of Iran improved access to credit information by reporting data on credit payments from an automobile retailer.

DB 2017:

The Islamic Republic of Iran made exporting and importing easier by improving and expanding the services offered by the national single window.

DB 2015:

The Islamic Republic of Iran made starting a business easier by streamlining the name reservation and company registration procedures.

The Islamic Republic of Iran made getting electricity easier by eliminating the need for customers to obtain an excavation permit for electricity connection works.

DB 2013:

The Islamic Republic of Iran made starting a business more difficult by requiring company founders to obtain a criminal record clearance to register a new company.

The Islamic Republic of Iran strengthened investor protections by requiring greater immediate disclosure of related-party transactions.

DB 2011:

The Islamic Republic of Iran eased business start-up by installing a web portal allowing entrepreneurs to search for and reserve a unique company name.

The establishment of a new private credit bureau improved access to credit information.

The Islamic Republic of Iran made enforcing contracts easier and faster by introducing electronic filing of some documents, text message notification and an electronic case management system.

DB 2010:

The Islamic Republic of Iran simplified business start-up by introducing an electronic registration system.

The Islamic Republic of Iran made dealing with construction permits easier by introducing electronic service offices in Tehran; streamlining the process of obtaining location approvals, building permits and building completion certificates; and reducing the time needed to obtain water and electricity connections.

The Islamic Republic of Iran made paying taxes easier for companies by converting the sales tax into value added tax.

The Islamic Republic of Iran reduced the time for exporting and importing through the installation of scanners at the port of Shahid Rajaee and the reorganization of customs clearance offices to separate inspections of special goods (chemicals, petroleum) from those of general goods.

Iraq

DB 2018:

Iraq made starting a business easier by combining multiple registration procedures and reducing the time to register a company.

Iraq improved access to credit information by launching a new credit registry.

DB 2017:

Iraq made dealing with construction permits easier by allowing the simultaneous processing of utility clearances and building permit applications.

The Ministry of Electricity made getting electricity faster by enforcing tighter deadlines on electricity connections.

DB 2012:

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.

Jordan

DB 2018:

Jordan improved access to credit information by establishing a new credit bureau.

DB 2017:

Jordan made paying taxes less costly by increasing the depreciation rates for some fixed assets.

Jordan made exporting and importing easier by streamlining customs clearance processes, advancing the use of a single window and improving infrastructure at the Aqaba customs and port.

DB 2015:

Jordan made trading across borders easier by improving infrastructure at the port of Aqaba.

DB 2012:

Jordan made starting a business easier by reducing the minimum capital requirement from 1,000 Jordanian dinars to 1 dinar, of which only half must be deposited before company registration.

Jordan made trading across borders faster by introducing X-ray scanners for risk management systems.

DB 2011:

Jordan improved its credit information system by setting up a regulatory framework for establishing a private credit bureau as well as lowering the threshold for loans to be reported to the public credit registry.

Jordan abolished certain taxes and made it possible to file income and sales tax returns electronically.

DB 2010:

Jordan made starting a business easier by offering a single reception service for company registration at the company registrar.

Jordan made dealing with construction permits easier by extending the services of the one-stop shop in Greater Amman to midsize commercial construction projects.

Jordan made registering property easier by reducing the property transfer fees.

Jordan made paying taxes easier for companies by introducing an online filing and payment system and simplifying tax forms.

Jordan reduced the time for exporting and importing by implementing a risk-based inspection system with postdestination clearance for preapproved traders, reducing the number of containers subject to physical inspection and allowing online submission of customs declarations by fully implementing the ASYCUDA World electronic data interchange system.

Jordan improved its contract enforcement system by setting up a specialized commercial court division, equipping its courts with a computer-aided case management system and raising the ceiling for cases heard by the lower court to improve the distribution of the caseload.

DB 2009:

Jordan made starting a business easier by reducing the paid-in minimum capital requirement by more than 96%.

DB 2008:

Jordan reduced the time and number of procedures to start a business by enhancing the operations of the one-stop shop at the company registry and adding the presence of a representative of the municipality of Amman.

Kuwait

DB 2018:

Kuwait made starting a business easier by establishing a one-stop shop and improving online registration.

Kuwait made registering property easier by lowering the number of days necessary to register property and by improving the transparency of the land administration system.

DB 2017:

Kuwait made starting a business more difficult by increasing the time required to register by requiring companies to submit the original documents online and in person.

Kuwait made exporting and importing easier by introducing customs e-links and electronic exchange of information among various agencies.

DB 2016:

Kuwait made starting a business easier by reducing the minimum capital requirement.

DB 2015:

Kuwait made starting a business more difficult by increasing the commercial license fee.

DB 2014:

Kuwait made starting a business more difficult by increasing the minimum capital requirement.

Kuwait strengthened investor protections by making it possible for minority shareholders to request the appointment of an auditor to review the company’s activities.

DB 2011:

Kuwait increased the number of days of paid annual leave and increased the notice period applicable in case of redundancy dismissals.

DB 2010:

Kuwait reduced the time required for customs clearance by improving administrative procedures and staff training.

Kuwait enhanced its insolvency process by introducing a new legal procedure that enables financially distressed companies on the verge of insolvency to restructure.

DB 2008:

Kuwait reduced the time required for dealing with construction permits by introducing an automated system for issuing technical approvals for utility connections.

Kuwait’s private credit bureau expanded its coverage by adding retailers to those supplying it with credit information.

Lebanon

DB 2016:

Lebanon made transferring property more complex by increasing the time required for property registration.

DB 2012:

Lebanon made getting electricity less costly by reducing the application fees and security deposit for a new connection.

DB 2011:

Lebanon increased the cost of starting a business.

Lebanon improved its credit information system by allowing banks online access to the public credit registry’s reports.

DB 2010:

Lebanon made starting a business easier by eliminating the requirement to have company books stamped—though it also made it more difficult by reversing a previous reform combining tax and company registration at LibanPost.

Lebanon made paying taxes easier for companies by eliminating the requirement to obtain permission to use accelerated depreciation and by introducing electronic payment.

DB 2009:

Lebanon reduced the time required to start a business by streamlining the business registration process.

Malta

DB 2018:

Malta made starting a business easier by removing the requirement for a trading license for general commercial activities.

DB 2017:

Malta simplified the process of starting a business by reducing the time needed to register a company.

Malta improved access to credit information by launching a new credit registry.

Malta made paying taxes more costly by replacing the capital gains tax with a property transfer tax, increasing the maximum social security contribution paid by employers.

DB 2016:

The utility in Malta reduced the time required for getting an electricity connection by improving its supervision of trenching works.

Malta made the transfer of a property more expensive by introducing the new property transfer tax.

DB 2015:

Malta made starting a business easier by creating an electronic link between the Registrar of Companies and the Inland Revenue Department to facilitate issuance of a tax identification number.

DB 2014:

Malta made dealing with construction permits less costly by significantly reducing the building permit fees.

Morocco

DB 2018:

Morocco made starting a business easier by combining the stamp duty payment with the application for business incorporation.

Morocco made registering property more expensive by increasing registration fees.

Morocco made paying taxes easier by improving the online system for filing and paying taxes.

DB 2017:

Morocco made the process of starting a business easier by introducing an online platform to reserve the company name and reducing registration fees.

Morocco made registering property easier by streamlining the property registration process.

In Morocco the credit bureau began to provide credit scores.

Morocco strengthened minority investor protections by clarifying ownership and control structures and by requiring greater corporate transparency.

Morocco made trading across borders easier by further developing its single window system and thus reducing border compliance time for importing.

DB 2016:

Morocco made starting a business easier by eliminating the need to file a declaration of business incorporation with the Ministry of Labor.

Morocco made dealing with construction permits more difficult by requiring architects to submit the building permit request online, along with supporting documents, and to follow up with a hard-copy submission. On the other hand, Morocco reduced the time required to obtain an urban certificate.

The utility in Morocco reduced the time required for getting an electricity connection by providing fee estimates more quickly.

Morocco made property transfers faster by establishing electronic communication links between different tax authorities.

Morocco made paying taxes easier for companies by improving the electronic platform for filing and paying corporate income tax, VAT and labor taxes. On the other hand, Morocco increased the rate of the social charge paid by employers.

1) Morocco implemented an unemployment insurance scheme. 2) Morocco increased the minimum wage increased from 12.24 to 12.85 DH/hour as of July 1, 2014, according to decree n° 2.14.343 of June 2014, published in the official bulletin 5292.

DB 2015:

Morocco made trading across borders easier by reducing the number of export documents required.

DB 2014:

Morocco made starting a business easier by reducing the company registration fees.

Morocco made transferring property easier by reducing the time required to register a deed of transfer at the tax authority.

Morocco made paying taxes easier for companies by increasing the use of the electronic filing and payment system for social security contributions.

DB 2013:

Morocco made starting a business easier by eliminating the minimum capital requirement for limited liability companies.

Morocco made registering property more costly by increasing property registration fees.

DB 2012:

Morocco made dealing with construction permits easier by opening a one-stop shop.

Morocco strengthened investor protections by allowing minority shareholders to obtain any nonconfidential corporate document during trial.

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.

DB 2011:

Morocco strengthened investor protections by requiring greater disclosure in companies’ annual reports.

DB 2010:

Morocco improved access to credit information through a new private credit bureau that started operations.

DB 2009:

Morocco improved access to credit information by guaranteeing borrowers’ right to inspect their own data in the public credit registry.

Morocco made paying taxes less costly for companies by reducing the corporate income tax rate, exempting gains made from the sale of certain buildings from the capital gains tax and abolishing fixed registration duty rates on deeds—though it also increased the tax rates on insurance contracts.

Morocco reduced the time for exporting and importing by eliminating the container identification card.

DB 2008:

Morocco made dealing with construction permits easier by introducing a one-stop shop, which reduced the time required for permit applications.

Morocco made registering property more complicated by implementing a requirement to check several tax agencies—rather than just one—in order to obtain a tax clearance certificate.

Morocco made trading across borders easier by introducing a risk-based inspection system.

Oman

DB 2018:

Oman made exporting and importing easier by enhancing its online single window system for exports and imports, reducing the time required for documentary compliance.

DB 2017:

Oman made starting a business easier by removing the requirement to pay the minimum capital within three months of incorporation and streamlining the registration of employees.

Oman reduced the time for border and documentary compliance by introducing a new online single window/one-stop service that allows for fast electronic clearance of goods.

DB 2016:

Oman improved the regulation of outages by beginning to record data for the annual system average interruption duration index (SAIDI) and system average interruption frequency index (SAIFI).

Oman reduced the time for border compliance for both exporting and importing by transferring cargo operations from Sultan Qaboos Port to Sohar Port.

DB 2013:

Oman improved access to credit information by guaranteeing borrowers’ right to inspect their personal data.

Oman reduced the maximum number of working days per week and increased the paid annual leave applicable for employees with one year of service.

DB 2012:

The one-stop shop in Oman introduced online company registration and sped up the process to register a business from 7 days to 3 days.

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.

Oman enacted a new income tax law that redefined the scope of taxation.

DB 2010:

Oman made starting a business easier by introducing online name registration and payment at the registry with a prepaid card.

Oman made paying taxes easier for companies through a new tax law modernizing the tax regime and simplifying procedures.

DB 2009:

Oman reduced the time and number of procedures to start a business by putting the one-stop shop into operation and simplifying licensing procedures.

Qatar

DB 2018:

Qatar improved access to credit information by starting to provide consumer credit scores to banks, financial institutions and borrowers.

Qatar made exporting and importing easier by inaugurating the new Hamad Port.

DB 2017:

Qatar made starting a business easier by abolishing the paid-in minimum capital requirement for limited liability companies.

Qatar made registering property easier by increasing the transparency at its land registry.

Qatar weakened minority investor protections by decreasing the rights of shareholders in major decisions, by diminishing ownership and control structures, by reducing requirements for approval of related-party transactions and their disclosure to the board of directors, and by limiting the liability of interested directors and board of directors in the event of prejudicial related-party transactions.

DB 2016:

Qatar reduced the time for border compliance for importing by reducing the number of days of free storage at the port and thus the time required for port handling.

DB 2014:

Qatar made paying taxes easier for companies by eliminating certain requirements associated with the corporate income tax return.

DB 2013:

Qatar reduced the time to export and import by introducing a new online portal allowing electronic submission of customs declarations for clearance at the Doha seaport.

DB 2012:

Qatar 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.

Qatar improved its credit information system by starting to distribute historical data and eliminating the minimum threshold for loans included in the database.

DB 2011:

Qatar made starting a business more difficult by adding a procedure to register for taxes and obtain a company seal.

Saudi Arabia

DB 2018:

Saudi Arabia made starting a business easier through the use of an online system that merges the name reservation and submission of the articles of association into one procedure. Saudi Arabia also improved the online payment system, removing the need to pay fees in person.

Saudi Arabia improved the efficiency of its land administration system by implementing an online platform to check for ownership and encumbrances and by streamlining the property registration process. Additionally, Saudi Arabia made registering property easier by improving the land administration system’s dispute resolution mechanisms.

Saudi Arabia strengthened minority investor protections by increasing shareholder rights and role in major decisions, clarifying ownership and control structures, requiring greater corporate transparency and regulating the disclosure of transactions with interested parties.

Saudi Arabia made paying taxes by improving its online platforms used by taxpayers for filing and paying taxes.

Saudi Arabia reduced the time for documentary compliance for exports and imports by reducing the number of documents required for customs clearance.

Saudi Arabia made enforcing contracts easier by introducing an electronic case management system for the use of judges and lawyers.

DB 2017:

Saudi Arabia made starting a business easier by reducing the time to notarize a company's article of association.

Saudi Arabia strengthened minority investor protections by strengthening ownership and control structures of companies and by increasing corporate transparency requirements.

Saudi Arabia made paying taxes more difficult by introducing a more complex income tax return.

Saudi Arabia increased the length of the notice period for redundancy dismissals.

DB 2016:

Saudi Arabia made property transfers faster by introducing a new computerized system at the land registry.

DB 2014:

DB 2013:

Saudi Arabia made getting electricity more expensive by increasing the connection fees.

Saudi Arabia made paying taxes easier for companies by introducing online filing and payment systems for social security contributions.

Saudi Arabia made enforcing contracts easier by expanding the computerization of its courts and introducing an electronic filing system.

DB 2012:

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.

DB 2011:

Saudi Arabia made dealing with construction permits easier for the second year in a row by introducing a new, streamlined process.

An amendment to Saudi Arabia’s commercial lien law enhanced access to credit by making secured lending more flexible and allowing out-of-court enforcement in case of default.

Saudi Arabia reduced the time to import by launching a new container terminal at the Jeddah Islamic Port.

Saudi Arabia speeded up the insolvency process by providing earlier access to amicable settlements and putting time limits on the settlements to encourage creditors to participate.

DB 2010:

Saudi Arabia made starting a business easier by introducing a one-stop center at the Ministry of Commerce that merged registration procedures and simplified publication requirements.

Saudi Arabia made dealing with construction permits less time consuming by introducing a 1-day permitting procedure that enables builders to obtain a temporary building permit allowing them to begin construction after 1 day and a final building permit after 1 week.

DB 2009:

Saudi Arabia reduced the time and cost to start a business by eliminating non-value-added formalities.

Saudi Arabia made property registration faster and easier by adopting a comprehensive electronic system for registering title deeds.

Saudi Arabia strengthened investor protections by prohibiting interested parties from voting on the approval of related-party transactions and by increasing sanctions against directors found liable for harm to a company resulting from a transaction in which they had a personal interest.

Saudi Arabia introduced strict deadlines for bankruptcy procedures, with the result that auctions of debtors’ assets now take place more quickly than before.

DB 2008:

Saudi Arabia made starting a business easier by eliminating the paid-in minimum capital requirement and speeding up company registration.

Saudi Arabia’s private credit bureau launched a commercial credit bureau that issues reports on companies, including on their credit exposure.

Saudi Arabia made importing easier by abolishing the requirement for a consular certificate, allowing the electronic transfer of data (and therefore eliminating the requirement for hard copies of documents) and improving the capacity of facilities in the port of Jeddah.

Syrian Arab Republic

DB 2017:

Syria made starting a business more difficult by increasing the time for company registration and more costly by increasing fees for post-registration procedures.

Syria made registering property more complex by requiring a security clearance prior to transferring the property.

Syria made enforcing contracts easier by adopting a new code of civil procedure.

DB 2013:

Syria improved access to credit information by establishing an online system for data exchange between all banks and microfinance institutions and the central bank’s credit registry.

DB 2011:

Syria eased business start-up by reducing the minimum capital requirement for limited liability companies by two-thirds. It also decentralized approval of the company memorandum.

Syria enhanced access to credit by eliminating the minimum threshold for loans included in the database, which expanded the coverage of individuals and firms to 2.8% of the adult population.

Syria eliminated the severance payment obligation but increased the notice period applicable in case of redundancy dismissals. Implemented a 100% pay premium for weekly holiday work and decreased the total term limit of fixed-term contracts.

DB 2010:

Syria made starting a business easier by reducing the paid-in minimum capital requirement and making standard incorporation forms available online.

DB 2009:

Syria reduced the time and number of procedures to start a business through a new company law and commercial code simplifying the registration process, ending the involvement of the court and lawyers in the process and further simplifying tax registration.

The entry of private banks into the Syrian market led to faster issuance of letters of credit, making it easier to trade across borders.

DB 2008:

Syria made starting a business more difficult by enforcing the requirement for limited liability companies and joint stock companies to publish their memorandum of association in the official gazette and show proof of payment of the publishing fees.

Syria made paying taxes less costly for companies by reducing the corporate income tax rate—and also made it easier for large businesses by setting up a large-taxpayer unit.

Tunisia

DB 2018:

Tunisia made paying taxes costlier by introducing a new exceptional corporate income tax contribution.

DB 2017:

Tunisia strengthened credit reporting by starting to distribute historical credit information and credit information from a telecommunications company.

DB 2016:

Tunisia made paying taxes less costly for companies by reducing the corporate income tax rate.

Tunisia reduced border compliance time for both exporting and importing by improving the efficiency of its state-owned port handling company and investing in port infrastructure at the port of Rades.

DB 2015:

Tunisia made paying taxes less costly for companies by reducing the corporate income tax rate.

In Tunisia trading across borders became more difficult because of a deterioration in port infrastructure (for example, in loading and unloading equipment) and inadequate terminal space.

DB 2014:

Tunisia made starting a business more difficult by increasing the cost of company registration.

DB 2011:

Tunisia introduced the use of electronic systems for payment of corporate income tax and value added tax.

Tunisia upgraded its electronic data interchange system for imports and exports, speeding up the assembly of import documents.

DB 2010:

Tunisia strengthened investor protections by enhancing approval and disclosure requirements for related-party transactions.

Tunisia made paying taxes more costly for companies by increasing employers’ social security contribution rate.

Tunisia reduced the time required for trading across borders by enabling traders to electronically submit most documents required to clear cargo through the TradeNet single-window system—though traders must still bring the original copies to customs for verification.

DB 2009:

Tunisia made starting a business easier by eliminating the paid-in minimum capital requirement.

Tunisia improved access to credit information by beginning to collect and distribute more detailed credit information from banks (including both positive and negative information) and guaranteeing by law the right of individuals and firms to inspect their credit data in all central bank offices.

Tunisia strengthened investor protections by allowing minority investors to request in court the rescission of related-party transactions that harm the company.

Tunisia made paying taxes easier for companies by introducing the option of téléliquidation, in which companies complete an online declaration of taxes while paying the taxes at a tax office.

Tunisia increased the time for importing by introducing a requirement for freight arriving at the port to be accompanied by a unit of the customs authority.

DB 2008:

Tunisia reduced the time needed to register property by computerizing property registry files.

Tunisia’s public credit registry eliminated the minimum threshold for loans included in its database, improving access to credit information.

Tunisia made paying taxes less costly for companies by reducing the corporate income tax rate.

United Arab Emirates

DB 2018:

The United Arab Emirates strengthened construction quality control by imposing stricter qualification requirements for professionals reviewing drawings. It also reduced the time and cost to obtain a building permit by eliminating a procedure.

The United Arab Emirates made getting electricity easier by streamlining the connection process and eliminating interactions between the customer and the utility to obtain external works. Getting electricity was also made less costly by the elimination of the security deposit for connections under 150 kVA.

The United Arab Emirates improved access to credit information by starting to provide consumer credit scores to banks and financial institutions.

The United Arab Emirates made resolving insolvency easier by adopting an insolvency law that introduces a reorganization procedure and facilitates continuation of the debtor’s business during insolvency proceedings.

DB 2017:

The United Arab Emirates made it easier to start a business by streamlining name reservation and articles of association notarization and merging registration procedures with the Ministry of Human Resources and General Pensions and Social Security Authority.

The United Arab Emirates made dealing with construction permits easier by implementing risk-based inspections and merging the final inspection into the process of obtaining a completion certificate.

The United Arab Emirates reduced the time required to obtain a new electricity connection by implementing a new program with strict deadlines for reviewing applications, carrying out inspections and meter installations. The United Arab Emirates also introduced compensation for power outages.

The United Arab Emirates made registering property easier by increasing the transparency at its land registry.

The United Arab Emirates strengthened minority investor protections by increasing shareholder rights and role in major corporate decisions, clarifying ownership and control structures, and requiring greater corporate transparency.

The United Arab Emirates reduced the duration of a single fixed-term contract from 48 to 24 month.

DB 2016:

The United Arab Emirates made dealing with construction permits easier by streamlining the process for obtaining the civil defense approval.

The United Arab Emirates made getting electricity easier by reducing the time needed to provide a connection cost estimate.

The United Arab Emirates strengthened minority investor protections by barring a subsidiary from acquiring shares in its parent company and by requiring that a potential acquirer, upon reaching 50% or more of the capital of a company, make a purchase offer to all shareholders.

The United Arab Emirates made enforcing contracts easier by implementing electronic service of process, by introducing a new case management office within the competent court and by further developing the “Smart Petitions” service allowing litigants to file and track motions online.

DB 2015:

The United Arab Emirates made transferring property easier by introducing new service centers and a standard contract for property transactions.

In the United Arab Emirates the credit bureau improved access to credit information by starting to exchange credit information with a utility.

The United Arab Emirates strengthened minority investor protections by introducing additional approval requirements for related-party transactions and greater requirements for disclosure of such transactions to the stock exchange; by introducing a requirement that interested directors be held liable in a related-party transaction that is unfair or constitutes a conflict of interest; and by making it possible for shareholders to inspect the documents pertaining to a related-party transaction, appoint auditors to inspect the transaction and request a rescission of the transaction if it should prove to be unfair.

DB 2014:

The United Arab Emirates made getting electricity easier by eliminating the requirement for site inspections and reducing the time required to provide new connections.

The United Arab Emirates made transferring property easier by increasing the operating hours of the land registry and reducing transfer fees.

The United Arab Emirates strengthened investor protections by introducing greater disclosure requirements for related-party transactions in the annual report and to the stock exchange and by making it possible to sue directors when such transactions harm the company.

DB 2013:

The United Arab Emirates made starting a business easier by eliminating the requirement for a company to prepare a name board in English and Arabic after having received clearance on the use of office premises.

In the United Arab Emirates the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority made getting electricity easier by introducing an electronic “one window, one step” application process allowing customers to submit and track their applications online and reducing the time for processing the applications.

The United Arab Emirates made paying taxes easier for companies by establishing an online filing and payment system for social security contributions.

DB 2012:

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.

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.

DB 2011:

The United Arab Emirates enhanced access to credit by setting up a legal framework for the operation of the private credit bureau and requiring that financial institutions share credit information.

The United Arab Emirates streamlined document preparation and reduced the time to trade with the launch of Dubai Customs’ comprehensive new customs system, Mirsal 2.

DB 2010:

The United Arab Emirates made starting a business easier by abolishing the minimum capital requirement and simplifying documentation requirements for registration, including by eliminating the requirement to show proof of deposit of capital.

The United Arab Emirates made dealing with construction permits less time consuming by improving its online system for obtaining no-objection certificates, building permits and completion certificates.

The United Arab Emirates made trading across borders easier through greater capacity at the container terminal in Dubai, elimination of the requirement for a terminal handling receipt and improvements in the banking sector reducing the cost of trade finance products.

DB 2009:

The United Arab Emirates improved access to credit information by establishing a new private credit bureau that collects information on all loans and by guaranteeing borrowers’ right to inspect their own credit data in the new bureau.

The United Arab Emirates made enforcing contracts easier by introducing electronic filing for court documents.

DB 2008:

The United Arab Emirates made starting a business easier by allowing publication of the company records at the Department of Economic Development.

The United Arab Emirates abolished the requirement for severance payments.

West Bank and Gaza

DB 2018:

West Bank and Gaza strengthened access to credit by introducing a new Secured Transactions Law and by setting up a new collateral registry. The new law implemented a functional secured transactions system. It allowed general description of single categories of assets, and allowed a general description of debts and obligations. The collateral registry is operational, unified geographically, searchable by a debtor’s unique identifier, modern, and notice based. The new law gave priority to secured creditors outside insolvency procedures and allowed out of court enforcement.

DB 2016:

West Bank and Gaza made dealing with construction permits easier by streamlining the process for obtaining the civil defense permit and for submitting the stamped concrete casting permit to the municipality.

The credit registry in West Bank and Gaza began to distribute credit data from retailers and utility companies.

DB 2015:

West Bank and Gaza made paying taxes easier for companies by introducing the option to make either 1 or 4 advance payments of corporate income tax.

DB 2014:

West Bank and Gaza made starting a business less costly by eliminating the paid-in minimum capital requirement.

West Bank and Gaza introduced a minimum wage.

DB 2013:

West Bank and Gaza made transferring property more costly by increasing the property transfer fee.

West Bank and Gaza improved access to credit information by guaranteeing borrowers’ right to inspect their personal data.

DB 2011:

West Bank and Gaza made starting a business more difficult by increasing the lawyers’ fees that must be paid for incorporation.

More efficient processes at Palestinian customs made trading easier in the West Bank.

DB 2010:

West Bank and Gaza made starting a business more difficult by increasing the minimum capital requirement.

West Bank and Gaza reduced the time required for registering property by completing a major project to computerize records at the land registry.

West Bank and Gaza speeded up contract enforcement by recruiting and training new judges, by appointing “enforcement judges” solely to handle matters relating to the enforcement of judgments and by fully implementing case management software.

DB 2009:

West Bank and Gaza reduced the time required to start a business by fully implementing the management information system at the commercial registry.

Dealing with construction permits became more costly in West Bank and Gaza as a result of rising prices for construction materials and price indexation.

West Bank and Gaza’s public credit registry set up an online system for banks to share credit information.

DB 2008:

West Bank and Gaza’s public credit registry eliminated the minimum threshold for loans included in its database and instructed banks to disclose all loans granted to customers.

West Bank and Gaza made paying taxes less costly for companies by reducing the corporate income tax rate.

Yemen, Rep.

DB 2015:

In the Republic of Yemen trading across borders became more difficult as a result of inefficient port operation.

DB 2012:

Yemen made starting a business more difficult due to the suspension of registration services at the one-stop shop.

The Republic of Yemen enacted a new tax law that reduced the general corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% and abolished all tax exemptions except those granted under the investment law for investment projects.

DB 2010:

The Republic of Yemen made starting a business easier by eliminating the requirement to obtain a bank account certificate for company registration.

The Republic of Yemen improved access to credit information by eliminating the minimum threshold for the loans reported and guaranteeing borrowers’ right to view their credit reports.

The Republic of Yemen reduced the time required for trading across borders by implementing a risk-based inspection system and an electronic data interchange system.

DB 2009:

The Republic of Yemen reduced the time and number of procedures to start a business by launching a one-stop shop and eliminating the paid-in minimum capital requirement and the requirement for a company seal.