The Solomon Islands' global ranking leapt forward seven places between 2010 and 2011 in a new report from IFC and the World Bank that measures the ease of doing business.

Jumping to 74th out of 183 economies, Solomon Islands was among just four countries in East Asia and the Pacific - also including Tonga and Vanuatu - which improved in three or more areas measured by the report.

Released today, Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 183 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency, and trading across borders. This year, the rankings on ease of doing business have expanded to include indicators on getting electricity.

Solomon Islands made starting a business easier by implementing an online registration process. It made registering property faster by separating the land registry from the business and movable property registries and strengthened investor protections by enacting the Companies Act 2009, which increased shareholders' access to corporate information. It also simplified insolvency proceedings, by adopting The Companies (Insolvency and Receivership) Act 2009.

Fourteen of 24 economies in East Asia and the Pacific improved business regulations in the past year. Singapore topped the rankings on ease of doing business for the sixth straight year. Hong Kong SAR, China, held onto the second spot-in part by introducing an online system for company registration and making it easier to secure an electricity connection.

New data show that improving access to information on business regulations can aid entrepreneurs. In East Asia and the Pacific, two-thirds of countries have put application requirements for building permits in public notices or online. "Effective use of information technology can make things easier for entrepreneurs," said Sylvia Solf, lead author of the report. Tonga; Hong Kong SAR, China; Malaysia; the Solomon Islands; Taiwan, China and Vanuatu have all used new technologies to simplify business start-up, made it easier to register property, or modernized the court system.

Over the past six years, a new measure shows that 22 economies in East Asia and the Pacific have made their regulatory environment more business-friendly. "Making business regulation more transparent and efficient increases opportunities for economic growth," said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group. "In East Asia and the Pacific, businesses have benefited from the region's broad and sustained regulatory reforms."