Zim’s ease of doing business ranking improves

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In its annual report, the World Bank said overall, the BRIC economies - Brazil, Russia, India and China - improved their average ease of doing business score by a combined total of nearly 19 points across various areas of business regulation.

According to the World Bank report which ranked 190 countries against their level of business friendliness, Rwanda has the largest number of reforms approved in the Africa region.

The bank said the country carried out business reforms during the past year to help create jobs, attract investment and make the economy more competitive.

It said that India made starting a business easier by integrating multiple application forms into a general incorporation form.

The most dramatic improvements were registered in the indicators related to "Construction Permits" and "Trading across Borders".

The economies' competitiveness was measured across several indicators, namely: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labor market regulation. It also improved building quality control by introducing decennial liability and insurance.

However, the report ranked Nigeria 146 down from 145 position it was in the last one year, out of 190 countries that were assessed.

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The minister also highlighted that the cost of starting a business in Rwanda has reduced from 317 per cent of GDP per capita in 2005 to less than 15 per cent in 2018. Improvements have already done on enforcement of contracts, taxation and insolvency laws and would be reflected in future rankings, he said.

Ministers Arun Jaitley, Suresh Prabhu speak on the ease of doing business rankings in New Delhi, Wednesday.

The UAE made getting electricity easier by eliminating all costs for commercial and industrial connections of up to 150 kilo-volt-amperes (kVA), and was one of the countries to receive the top score possible in the electricity subcategory, according to the report. A case study in the report, which analyzes this data, finds that mandatory and annual training for relevant officials is associated with more efficient business and land registries.

India also performs particularly well in the area of Protecting Minority Investors, with a global rank of 7, and scoring a flawless 10 in the index measuring shareholders' rights and role in major corporate decisions.

"However, at 144 days, registering property in Pakistan could be made yet easier so that the country could surpass the South Asia regional average of 114 days", the report said.

"Getting credit was also strengthened by improving access to credit information and enhancing the rights of secured creditors in bankruptcy proceedings".

A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the establishment and operation of a local firm.