According to a World Bank ranking published Tuesday, Germany ranks 19th among the world's business-friendliest nations. The report, "Doing Business in 2006," deals with domestic business climates rather than incentives in place to attract foreign investors. "The fewer regulations, the higher the ranking," said Michael Klein, chief economist of IFC, the private sector branch of the World Bank, which published the study. While it takes 24 days to start a business in Germany, anyone setting up a shop in New Zealand, the No. 1 in the study, only needs 12 days. Germany was also criticized for its strict labor laws that inhibit the creation of new jobs. But it received best grades for organizing exports: No other country requires less bureaucracy to ship goods abroad than Germany. Countries ahead of Germany included Singapore, the US, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Britain, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium.