Sri Lanka has slipped one position in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index  to 110 in year 2017 from 109 in 2016 among 190 countries that had been surveyed for the annual rankings, the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2017’ report released last week showed. However, Sri Lanka’s absolute score has improved by 0.65 from 58.14 to 58.79 compared to the previous year.

Commenting on starting a business, the World Bank Report said Sri Lanka made starting a business easier by removing the stamp duty on newly-issued shares. On protecting minority investors, the report noted that Sri Lanka strengthened minority investor protections by requiring board and in some cases shareholder approval of related-party transactions and by requiring that such transactions undergo external review.

The rankings are based on 10 parameters — starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

The list of countries in the Doing Business 2017 is topped by New Zealand while Singapore is ranked second. It is followed by Denmark, Hong Kong, South Korea, Norway, the UK, the US, Sweden and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

In South Asia, Bhutan tops the list with a ranking of 73, followed by Nepal at 107 and Sri Lanka at 110. Afghanistan was placed at 183rd spot. India was placed 130th in World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2017’ report, while Pakistan was ranked 144th.

Countries which have shown vast improvement include Brunei Darussalam, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Belarus, Indonesia, Serbia, Georgia, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.