The World Bank Group’s study Doing Business in the European Union 2018 said that the most business-friendly city in Slovakia is Presov and while Prague is top ranked in Czechia. The Slovak capital was ranked fourth, whereas in Czechia it is easy to do business in big cities.
The World Bank Group was tasked by the European Commission to compare business regulation for domestic firms in 25 cities in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Slovakia with 186 other economies.
“Among the seven cities benchmarked in the Czech Republic, it is the country’s three largest—Prague, Brno and Ostrava—where doing business is easier across the five areas measured. Prague ranks first in two areas (getting electricity and enforcing contracts), while Brno ranks first in dealing with construction permits and Ostrava in registering property,” the study reads.
In Slovakia, it is easier to start a business in Presov or Zilina – third and fourth biggest cities in the country – due to the shorter time needed to obtain a tax arrears form and register for VAT, construction permits and getting connected to electricity grids.
"The Economy Ministry is preparing another package to support the business environment and remove unnecessary bureaucracy. If a similarly successful approach as in the regions was used in Bratislava, Slovakia would improve by nine places in the ranking, according to the World Bank," stated the Slovak ministry.
For Czech cities, starting a business, dealing with construction permits and enforcing contracts are the main hurdles. “Indeed, in these three areas even the best performer among the Czech cities has a distance to frontier score lower than the EU average,“ the study said.
Czechia has also the biggest spread in the overall score between the leading city – Prague (74.24) -- and the last – Liberec (68.28) -- out of four countries researched. The spread in Slovakia was from 78.78 points for first place Presov and 76.16 points for last placed Bratislava.
"We're intensely working on major improvements in conditions for business and on the reduction of unnecessary permits, corroborations and inspections," said Economy Minister Peter Ziga (Smer-SD), adding that Bratislava should follow the example of some smaller Slovak cities in bolstering efficiency, transparency and introduction of electronic features into the business environment.
Doing Business study measured aspects of regulation that enable or hinder entrepreneurs in starting, operating or expanding a business and provides recommendations for improving the business environment. The study used five indicators for comparison of individual cities: starting a business; dealing with construction permits; enforcing contracts; getting electricity; and registering property.
In Portugal, Ponta Delgada ranked first with 80.37 points, in Croatia Varazdin with 75.89 points.