Last week (April 22), I offered a video commentary on PBS' Nightly Business Report:
SUSIE GHARIB: For many economies around the globe, start up businesses are the little engine that could, creating jobs and revenues. But you might be surprised where some start up businesses are taking root. Here's commentator Tim Kane. He's senior fellow of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation.
TIM KANE, SR. FELLOW, THE KAUFFMAN FOUNDATION: Next week, President Obama is hosting a summit for more than 50 countries with sizable Muslim populations and it's a summit on entrepreneurship. Maybe that sounds like small potatoes compared the big nuclear summit the White House hosted last week, but I think it's even more important. World peace will have economic roots. Muslim economies are eager to shift away from oil and they know a startup culture is key. Actually, these countries are already changing. The reality of this century is that economic growth is flowering almost everywhere, not just exotic places like China and Cupertino.
A big reason progress has been so measurable is simple. There's something to measure. Since 2004, the World Bank has been publishing the "Doing Business Report", which compares national economic policies across the globe. And according to the 2010 edition, nine out of 10 Middle Eastern and North African countries made at least one reform making it easier to do business, say start a company or hire a worker, with less regulation getting in the way.
Here's an example. In 2004, it took 42 days to start a company in a typical Middle Eastern country. Last year, 21 days. In the U.S., it took six days. But get this, in Saudi Arabia it took only five days to start a company. In fact, two of the top economic reformers in 2010 were Egypt -- fancy that -- and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia now ranks as the 13th best place to do business in the world. Who's number one? Let's just say the summit should arguably be held in Singapore, not Washington. I'm Tim Kane.