Singapore has been named the most business-friendly economy in the world for a ninth consecutive year, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulatory environments are New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark, South Korea, Norway, the U.S., the U.K., Finland and Australia, according to the Bank’s annual “Doing Business 2015” report released on Wednesday. Turkey comes in 55th out of 189 countries.

Local entrepreneurs in 123 countries saw improvements in their regulatory environment in the past year, says the report.

The bank’s report states that 145 economies have taken measures to reduce the complexity and the cost of complying with business regulations, while 85 economies have aimed at strengthening legal institutions.

Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for the largest number of reforms in 2013/14.

While 80 percent of countries in the study improved their business regulations last year, only about one-third moved up in the rankings. However, the gap between best- and worst-performing countries continued to narrow as countries improved their business climates, said Rita Ramalho, manager of the Doing Business Project, in the World Bank press release.

“It’s easier to do business this year than it was last year, than it was two years ago or 10 years ago,” she said. “We see that the economies that score the lowest are reforming more intensely, so they are converging toward the economies that do the best.” 

The report measures the ease of doing business in 189 economies based on 11 business-related regulations, including business start-up, the ability to receive credit and electricity, and trading across borders. The report does not cover the full breadth of business concerns, such as security, macroeconomic stability, or corruption.

The report this year has expanded the data for three of the 10 topics covered, and there are plans to do so for five more topics next year.

“With the change in the methodology Turkey is ranked 55 among 189 countries in this year’s ranking, slightly down from 51 last year, but considerably better than the 69 rank achieved in 2014 using the old methodology,” said Martin Raiser, World Bank Country Director for Turkey in the World Bank press release.

  Anadolu Agency