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UK edges up ease of doing business list

THE UK has risen up the ranks of countries it is easy to do business in, a day after it was downgraded in a key ranking of global competitiveness.<br /><br />Britain now ranks fifth in the world for ease of doing business after gaining one place, according to the World Bank Doing Business Report 2010.<br /><br />This places it top in Europe on the scale, just ahead of Denmark which came in sixth, although it continues to lag behind the US.<br /><br />The result comes after the World Economic Forum&rsquo;s latest Global Competitiveness Report on Tuesday saw the UK fall one place to 13th.<br /><br />Lord Davies, the minister for trade, investment and business, said he was delighted with the result for ease of doing business.<br /><br />&ldquo;Britain is very much open for business, attracting five new companies from a wide range of countries every day with an attractive proposition of high skill levels, high tech industries and high end products and services,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />But there was less to celebrate in other areas, with the UK ranking a dire 35th for ease of employing workers and 16th for paying taxes or starting a business.<br /><br />Three Asia-Pacific economies &ndash; Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong &ndash; were ranked top on the ease of business scale, after most of the region&rsquo;s economies have carried out regulatory reforms in the face of the global economic crisis.<br /><br />Indonesia was the most reformed economy, after cutting the time required to start a business by 16 days and the time to transfer a property by 17 days, climbing to 122 from 129 in the rankings, according to report.<br /><br />&ldquo;Most economies in East Asia and the Pacific strengthened business regulations,&rdquo; the report added.