A report compares business environment in 22 cities in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania with 187 other economies

A report published today by the World Bank, in cooperation with the European Commission’s Directorate-general for Regional and Urban Policy, analyses 22 cities in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania benchmarking them against their performance when it comes to business regulations and their enforcement in five areas, namely starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property and enforcing contracts. It also compares the situation in those cities, including the three capitals, with 187 other countries and provides recommendations and good practices for improving business environment.

The report is the first of the series “Doing Business in the European Union 2017” and is result of the joint work of the World Bank and the Commission, with the national authorities of the countries concerned.

It highlights, in particular, how the regulatory systems and business governance are key for enabling job creation and sustainable and equitable growth. Furthermore, it clearly shows that those factors should be analysed and addressed not only at national but also at regional and local level. The most marked differences in performance within each country are in areas where local authorities have the most autonomy in developing and implementing regulations, such as construction permitting, getting electricity and enforcing contracts. European Structural and Investment Funds play an important role in the process. On the one hand, they can be used by the authorities to address the bottlenecks identified in the report. On the other, improved local governance and business environment also lead to improving how investments are planned, managed and delivered.

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