A report on the cost of doing business in Irish cities has found that development contribution fees in Dublin are over five times higher than in Galway.

The report, by the World Bank, benchmarks business costs in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford under the categories of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property and enforcing contracts.

No city dominates the rankings but Galway comes out best for starting a business.

Getting electricity in Dublin takes an average 85 days compared to just 44 days in Waterford.

Construction permits take 200 days in Cork, over a month longer than the average 158 days in Waterford.

Registering property was fastest in Dublin with an average of just over 30 days compared to over 50 days in Waterford.

The cost of litigation in Ireland is higher than the EU average. As a percentage of the claim, legal fees in Ireland were 17.7% compared to an EU average of 12.5%.

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, said the assessment offered a valuable insight into some of the challenges faced by the many small and medium-sized firms that play such a critical role in our economy.

"The differences in regional performance highlighted in the report will allow policy makers to effectively identify and target bottlenecks and further improve the business environment across our economy," he said.

"By identifying examples of local good practice, the report underlines the fact that, while each city has its respective strengths, there is always room to improve and to learn from one another."

Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland which assisted the World Bank with the report, welcomed the findings.

"The World Bank's Doing Business report offers important insight on the regulatory and engineering systems at national and local level," she said.

"Engineers Ireland welcomes Ireland’s very positive performance in the building quality control index and electricity supply reliability index; these indices demonstrate the quality of engineering services in Ireland."

"However, the results also show the importance of implementing Project Ireland 2040 and investing in national and local services to improve Ireland’s competitive edge. We must ensure that the strong growth in Dublin is balanced with investment and growth in Ireland’s other city-regions, which have more capacity in many areas."