Bangladesh has shown the sign of slight improvement as the World Bank’s Doing Business report put it on 176th position among 190 countries.
Bangladesh was ranked at 177 among 190 countries in the last year’s index.
In a first for South Asia, two of the region’s economies earned coveted spots in the global top improvers, according to Washington-based global lending agency.
India continued its reform agenda, implementing six reforms in the past year and advancing 23 spots to 77th place in the global ranking, it said.
India is now the region’s top-ranked economy. Afghanistan, with five reforms, moved up 16 spots to 167th place in the global rankings, said the WB.
Governments around the world set a new record in bureaucracy busting efforts for the domestic private sector, implementing 314 business reforms over the past year, says the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform report, released on Wednesday.
The reforms, carried out in 128 economies, benefit small and medium enterprises as well as entrepreneurs, enabling job creation and stimulating private investment.
This year’s reforms surpass the previous all-time high of 290 reforms two years ago.
“The private sector is key to creating sustainable economic growth and ending poverty around the world,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.
“Fair, efficient and transparent rules, which Doing Business promotes, are the bedrock of a vibrant economy and entrepreneurship environment. It’s critical for governments to accelerate efforts to create the conditions for private enterprise to thrive and communities to prosper.”
The report finds that reforms are taking place where they are most needed, with low-income and lower middle-income economies carrying out 172 reforms.
In the World Bank Group’s annual ease of doing business rankings, the top 10 economies are New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark, which retain their first, second and third spots respectively for a second consecutive year, followed by Hong Kong SAR, China, Republic of Korea, Georgia, Norway, the United States, the United Kingdom and FYR Macedonia.
The reforms in Mauritius included the elimination of a gender-based barrier to equalise the field between men and women in starting a business.
This year’s top 10 improvers, based on reforms undertaken, are Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Azerbaijan, India, Togo, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Turkey and Rwanda.
With six reforms each, Djibouti and India are in the top 10 for a second consecutive year.
Afghanistan and Turkey, top improvers for the first time, implemented record single-year reforms, with five and seven, respectively.
“The diversity among the top improvers shows that economies of all sizes and income levels, and even those in conflict can advance the business climate for domestic small and medium enterprises. Doing Business provides a road map that different governments can use to increase business confidence, innovation, and growth and reduce corruption,” said Shanta Devarajan, the World Bank’s Senior Director for Development Economics and Acting Chief Economist.
“This year’s results clearly demonstrate government commitment in many economies, large and small, to nurture entrepreneurship and private enterprise. If the reform agendas are complemented with training programs for public officials, the impact of reforms will be further enhanced, new data show,” said Rita Ramalho, Senior Manager of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, which produces the report.
Since its inception in 2003, more than 3,500 business reforms have been carried out in 186 of the 190 economies Doing Business monitors.
By region, East Asia and the Pacific is home to two of the world’s top 10 Doing Business economies, Singapore and Hong Kong SAR, China.
Additionally, China is one of this year’s top 10 improvers, advancing more than 30 spots to 46th place in the global rankings.
The region’s economies carried out a total of 43 reforms in the past year, with a major push seen in the areas of Starting a Business and Getting Electricity.
The pace of reforms accelerated in the region, with 54 reforms implemented during the past year, compared with a revised number of 43 reforms the previous year.
While reforms in the region covered all areas of Doing Business, many improvements focused on easing construction permitting and cross border trade.
Doing Business 2019 is the 16th in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it.
Data in Doing Business 2019 are current as of May 1, 2018. The indicators are used to analyse economic outcomes and identify what reforms of business regulation have worked, where and why.
This year, the name of the Doing Business distance to frontier score has been changed to “ease of doing business score” to better reflect the main idea of the measure – a score indicating an economy’s position to the best regulatory practice.