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International Business Report

Top 10 countries being strangled by red tape

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Our graphic shows, by country, the percentage of businesses citing bureaucracy and regulations as a constraint on growth. Brazil is the BRIC most affected, while our International Business Report (IBR) research also shows India moving up the red tape rankings.

Globally the impact of regulations and red tape has marginally declined as a constraint for business expansion – from 32% in 2010 to 30% in 2011.

However, businesses in BRIC economies are more concerned about bureaucracy over the next 12 months with 35% citing it as a constraint this year as opposed to 29% in 2010.

Troubled Greece continues to top the list of economies where businesses feel the most under pressure from bureaucracy (57%) – an interesting result in an economy struggling to make the structural reforms necessary to recover competitiveness.

It is followed by two emerging economies from different sides of the globe: Brazil and Poland (both 50%).

Just two mature economies – Greece and Australia (37%) – are included in the top 10.

India has moved up the bureaucracy ranking to fourth this year following a 22-percentage-point increase in the number of businesses citing it as a constraint on expansion.

Regulations and red tape have long been an issue for businesses in India and, given that performance expectations and optimism are high, the research suggests that simplifying processes could unlock a great deal more potential in an already booming economy.

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Read more on the issues facing global business in the full IBR report: The global economy in 2012: a rocky road to recovery.