India among 10 ‘most improved economies’: World Bank’s Doing Business report

India has climbed 23 places from a year ago to rank 77 out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s latest annual report on the ease of doing business.

The World Bank’s flagship business report, which tracks the ease of doing business in different countries around the globe, singled out India as

India was among the top 10 most improved economies along with countries such as China, Djibouti and Azerbaijan, according to the “Doing Business 2019” report.

The ease of doing business in India improved notably after a series of reforms made it easier for companies to get construction permits, pay taxes and trade across borders, the report said.

The report highlighted other areas of improvement for business, including simplifying India’s tax structures, improving the efficiency of cross-border trading and reducing the time necessary to meet compliance requirements.

Radhika Rao, an economist with DBS Bank, told CNBC: “This improvement is commendable and timely, even if the benefits of these long-term focused and social plumbing reforms might not buoy growth in the immediate term.”

Climbing the ladder
Among other countries to do well in the World Bank’s yearly survey is Kazakhstan. The Central Asian country rose 25 places to 28th in the global ranking of 190 economies. In leapfrogging leading economies such as France, Poland, Japan, Turkey and the Netherlands, Kazakhstan secured its placed among the top 20 for the first time in the report’s history.

The report praised Kazakhstan’s economy “establishing best regulatory performance” and noted its extensive protection of minority shareholder rights.

The World Bank gave Kazakhstan credit in several areas including simplifying tax registration, social security registration and licencing, as well as streamlining the enforcement of contracts by introducing electronic court automation.

Rising star
The United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, continued its dizzying ascent up the rankings, climbing 10 places to finish 11th in the overall rankings. The Emirates is the highest ranking economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

In its report the World Bank drew attention to “the two economies that enter[ed] the top 20 this year — the UAE and Malaysia – have maintained such a reform momentum.” Malaysia climbed nine places, from 24th in 2017 to 15th in 2018.

The UAE implemented four separate reforms in 2018, relating to setting up a business, obtaining electricity, registering real estate and gaining access to credit, the report said.

More developed countries lagged behind the UAE, including Sweden (12th), Canada (22nd), Germany (24th), Spain (30th), France (32nd) and Japan (39th).

Christopher Copper-Ind
Christopher Copper-Ind is Publisher and Editor of International Investment. His previous publishing experience focused largely on the Middle East and emerging markets, and he was Editorial Director of The Business Year, based in Istanbul, for three years before moving back to London in 2017. He is the author of How to Negotiate, to be published by Macmillan in 2019.

Read more from Christopher Copper-Ind

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