News in brief: World Bank; technology; Open to Export

News in brief
News in brief

UK ranked among top countries worldwide to do business

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report has acknowledged the UK as 6th out of 189 countries in a survey of the top places to do business, placing it ahead of the US, Germany and Japan. The UK Government’s continued commitment to de-regulation, making it easier to start and grow a business and establishing a competitive tax environment has pushed the UK up two places, from 8th last year.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: "The UK has once again climbed up the rankings and is one of the top places in the world to do business, getting closer to the Government’s target of reaching the top five. This is international recognition of the UK’s strong and stable business environment, competitiveness and entrepreneurial spirit. Our economy is now growing faster than any other G7 nation. The Government is taking steps to ensure that every part of Britain benefits from the growing economy and that everyone who works hard gets the opportunities they need to succeed.”

Europe falls behind the US when it comes to productivity-enhancing technology

Organisations in Europe score lower than those in the US and Latin America when it comes to providing technology that supports employee productivity. The finding comes from the Unisys People Computing Productivity Index, a benchmarking tool that polled 450 global IT managers on end-user productivity.

The report shows that only 29% of respondents in EMEA reported having data centre up-time of 99.9% or more. This is lower than what was reported by US respondents (35%) and Latin American respondents (41.7%), indicating that organisations in Europe could be affected by the availability of IT resources critical to employee productivity.

Vice president of sales for UKMEA at Unisys James Mayo says: “Organisations need to ensure that they are providing their employees with the technology capabilities to increase productivity. The survey results indicate that employers are not doing enough. Businesses need to act now and put the right infrastructure in place to enable 24/7 availability and provide employees with access to it all the time, no matter where they are, to keep productivity high.”

Open to Export initiative publishes free action plan

The Export Action Plan is the latest addition to the government-backed initiative Open to Export’s online offering, which is dedicated to helping UK SMEs prepare to sell overseas by giving them free access to online information, support and advice.

The step-by-step Export Action Plan – now accessible on Open to Export’s recently upgraded website – takes visitors through five key action points before producing a report they can take to trade advisors.

Open to Export chief executive Lesley Batchelor OBE, said: “With a growing number of SMEs identifying the opportunities that trading globally presents – but daunted by taking what they see as a big step – our Export Action Plan is a great starting point. It allows them to focus their goals and talk with confidence to the trade advisors and banks who can help the venture to succeed.”