Entrepreneurship is a key driver of economic growth and development, and it flourishes where there are minimal barriers to doing business.

The World Bank’s Doing Business project, launched in 2002, ranks the ease of setting up and running a business across 189 economies and selected cities in the world.

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Three Asian economies appear in the top five spots: Singapore (1st), Hong Kong SAR, China (3rd) and the Republic of Korea (5th).

The other top rankings are shared between some of the largest Anglophone economies – New Zealand (2nd), the United States (7th), The United Kingdom (8th), Australia (10th) and the Republic of Ireland (13th) – and the five Nordic economies: Denmark (4th), Norway (6th), Finland (9th), Sweden (11th) and Iceland (12th).

Note: The rankings of economies with populations over 100 million (Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Russian Federation and the United States) are based on data for two cities.

Author: Paul Muggeridge is Head of Content at Formative Content.

Image: A woman holds Indonesian rupiah banknotes in front of a Bank Indonesia mobile bank in Jakarta July 15, 2013. REUTERS/Beawiharta