Improving the business environment

The private sector is the engine of economic development. A business-enabling environment is necessary for entrepreneurs to start up, expand and sustain a new business. This concerns all the regulations and laws governing company foundation, business operations and liquidation.


An effective business environment places all market participants on an equal footing and promotes economic growth.


The business environment can be quite discouraging in many developing countries. Anyone trying to set up a company, for example, may have to approach several government departments to get a licence; there may be lots of forms to fill out when declaring taxes; and after a company is dissolved, shareholders have to wait a long time before investing their capital again. Business regulation reforms take years to implement, from the time they are first identified until eventually passed by Parliament.

A Vietnamese businesswoman submitting forms for the commercial register.
"I’m very satisfied with the service at the registration office. Setting up a new business or
making changes is easy now." Nguyen Thu Hien, businesswoman, Phu Gia Investment Company, Vietnam.
© Sébastien Löffler, nôi PICTURES

A more service-oriented state

Some ways in which SECO supports partner countries are as follows:

  • One-stop shops for company formation, so that they do not have to contact all government departments involved. This makes it easier and quicker to register a new business and start operating.
  • Tourism and agriculture are important business sectors and create many jobs. These can become more competitive by removing sector-specific barriers and administrative hurdles. SECO works in Cuzco in Peru, for example, where tourism is one of the main sources of income.
  • A country should be clear on the reforms it needs in order to improve its business environment. SECO finances diagnostic tools to assist in such decision-making.

More time for the core business means higher productivity

Reforms improving the business environment help companies save on both time and money. This leaves them more scope for business development, capital investments and job creation. A more conducive business environment makes a country a preferred choice for doing business and attracts new investments.

Last modification 08.02.2017

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