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WASHINGTON, October 23 (Itar-Tass) — The Europe and Central Asia region (ECA) have improved the most, overtaking East Asia and the Pacific as the world’s second most business-friendly region, according to World Bank’s Doing Business indicators. OECD high-income economies continue to have the most business-friendly environment. “It’s a very interesting and encouraging story, I think,” Director of Global Indicators and Analysis of the World Bank Group Augusto Lopez-Claros told reporters, introducing a new report - Doing Business 2013, released by the WB press service on Tuesday.
Doing Business analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and protecting investors, according to WB. The aggregate ease of doing business rankings are based on 10 indicators and cover 185 economies. Doing Business does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors
The specialist said that OECD developed countries have been and remain first in the regional rating. ECA countries have pushed from the second position the East Asia and Pacific region. According to Lopez-Claros, this is caused, in particular, by the preservation of the “good habit” to conduct reforms, developed in a number of countries of Central and Eastern Europe in preparation for EU accession. This, according to him, happened in the Baltic States that have entered the global “privileged group of top performers” in terms of doing private business.
However, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the USA and Denmark have in recent years been invariably among the top five countries and territories where such conditions are most favourable. Naturally, for them it is easier to attract investment and develop the economy in general. Lopez-Claros is convinced that, for example, the United States will retain this advantage, despite its current financial and economic difficulties.
Russia took the 112th position among 185 countries in this year’s ranking, reflecting the state of affairs in this sphere. It was ranked the 120th in last year’s report and 124th in the 2010 report.
Among Russia’s partners in the BRICS group South Africa has the highest ranking – the 39th. It is followed by China (91st position), Brazil (130th) and India (132nd).
Georgia is the leader in the post-Soviet space, ranked ninth in the global report. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have entered the second 10, Armenia - the third. Kazakhstan has the 49th position in the rating, Belarus - 58th, Azerbaijan - 67th. Kyrgyzstan and Moldova have higher positions than Russia in the report. Ukraine holds the 137th position.
The authors of the rating emphasise that it is formed on the basis of fairly narrow criteria and does not reflect the situation in a country’s economy as a whole. According to Lopez-Claros, it is by this that Georgia’s success can be explained, as the country’s economic situation leaves much to be desired, and the earlier ruling party was defeated in the recent parliamentary elections.