Business sentiment in Bulgaria was declining despite significant progress in easing the start-up of a business, the World Bank said in its latest Doing Business report.
Bulgaria was ranked 44th, down two spots from last year. The table includes 183 countries, ranked through a poll of 8000 experts from the respective nations. The list of criteria features tax burden, access to financial resources and investor protection.
"In terms of the institutional framework and regulatory bottleneck, there is definitely room for improvement," said Hristo Valev, investment manager at Advance Equity Holding. He said existing legislation was good, but law enforcement was weak.
In a report published on September 8, the World Economic Forum in Davos concluded that the clogged access to funding has ousted corruption as the main roadblock for Bulgarian businesses. Nevertheless, the highest assessment assigned in the World Bank study was on corporate lending. In this ranking, Bulgaria shares fourth position with a string of other countries such as the US, Serbia and Latvia, with the top criteria being legislative framework and access to information. Lending conditions were left out.
In the ease of starting a business table, Bulgaria leapfrogged 31 countries to land at number 50. This takes into account number and duration of registration procedures plus minimum capital.
Following the overhaul of the Trade Registry, the registration period was limited to 18 from 30-40 days, Georgi Angelov, macroeconomist with the Open Society Institute (OSI), told Dnevnik, adding that if this is followed up by a reduction in the bottom capital requirement, Bulgaria will move further up in the World Bank ranking.