NZ, Singapore and Denmark top annual Ease of Doing Business table

New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark retained their places at the top of the World Bank’s annual Ease of Doing Business ranking, published yesterday, while the US leap-frogged the (unchanged) UK to move up to sixth place, from eighth in 2016.

But it was India’s move into 100th place – by rising 30 places since last year’s list was published – that seemed to get the greatest attention, though, with considerable local media coverage, share prices on its stock exchanges leaping in response, and the country’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, tweeting proudly that it “has never been easier to do business in India”.

India, Modi added in his tweet, “welcomes the world to explore economic opportunities our nation has to offer!”

The World Bank first published its Ease of Doing Business ranking, contained in its annual Doing Business reports, in 2002. The latest edition, the 312-page Doing Business 2018,  ranks 190 countries on their business friendliness, which is determined by the use of 10 parameters.

India improved its score this year in six out of these 10 criteria, the research reveals.

Also leaping up the league table this year was Nigeria, which came in at 145th, 24 places ahead of last year, its recent reforms in such areas as construction governance, property registration, tax and so on evidently having paid off.

Jordan, Kenya, Indonesia, Thailand, Mauritius, Rwanda and Vietnam also made significant gains, while Georgia’s 7-place rise enabled it to break into the Top 10 for the first time ever.

Ghana, Tunisia and Philippines, meanwhile, fell between 11 to 14 places each.

Bottom of the table this year was Somalia (score of 19.98), with Eritrea just above it, with a score of 22.87.

One feature of the Ease of Doing Business ranking is that there are some surprising juxtapositions; for example, Germany is only in 20th place, below such other smaller and less-developed countries as Macedonia and Estonia (11th and 12th); and France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Japan are ranked 31st, 32nd, 33rd and 34th.

Source: World Bank’s Doing Business database, benchmarked to June 2017, and based on the average of each economy’s distance to frontier (DTF) scores for the 10 topics included in the aggregate ranking. 


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