Advancing to 25th place in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking is a big success for our country – all the more so as Poland ranked 32nd a year ago. We should continue the reforms that led us from around the eightieth place to a respectable position. The government should aim for a top 20 place. There is still much to improve, particularly when it comes to taxes and fiscal regulations, courts and the construction law. The impetus for positive changes could be provided by digitization and e-administration.
The improvement of our position in Doing Business results mainly from advances in tax law, facilitated by digitalizing some payments. The change in the methodology of assessing foreign trade was also favourable. The easy trade exchange with our main partner, Germany, promoted us to first place in this category. This is a historic achievement - the first time that Poland leads in any aspect assessed in the ranking.
However, all this does not mean that there is no room for improvement. On the contrary – we can still facilitate the business activities of entrepreneurs, thus advancing in Doing Business. There is no better advertisement for a country than high positions in prestigious international rankings. Therefore, we should strive to simplify tax regulations and improve the efficiency of tax authorities.
In recent years, the waiting time for a court ruling in business-related cases has shortened from 1000 to 700 days, but it is still far too long – particularly for micro- and small enterprises. Payment delays also represent a fatal danger for them. As far as courts are concerned, we are still waiting for the effects of the Restructuring Law passed this year. Its objective is to restrict the number of bankruptcy proceedings and increasing the number of rectification proceedings. In short, the idea is to help companies survive and continue to function rather than let them go bankrupt.
One can also point to construction law – and more widely: apatial planning and landscaping – as an area in particular need of thorough reforms which could contribute to another jump in Doing Business.
To conclude, the role of digitalizing administrative procedures should be emphasized. As this year’s case of e-tax reports shows, digitization is one of the most effective factors facilitating the functioning of many aspects of the state. Excessive bureaucracy is one of the basic problems troubling our country. Digitization is unique opportunity to dispense with the procedures which are not needed.
Piotr Wołejko, expert of Employers of Poland