SWITZERLAND, JANUARY 16 – The World Bank has listed Nigeria as one of the most improved economies in the world in 2019 in terms of the ease of doing business.
In its 2020 Doing Business report, released on Wednesday, the international finance institution named Nigeria, China, and India in the top 10 list of governments that have done the most in the past year to improve the ease of doing business in their countries.
“The Doing Business 2020 study shows that developing economies are catching
up with developed economies in ease of doing business,” David Malpass, president of the World Bank said in his forward to the report.
“Still, the gap remains wide. An entrepreneur in a low-income economy typically spends around 50 percent of the country’s per-capita income to launch
a company, compared with just 4.2 percent for an entrepreneur in a high income economy. It takes nearly six times as long on average to start a business
in the economies ranked in the bottom 50 as in the top 20,” Malpass added.
Despite the bitter trade war, in which the United States is demanding reforms from Beijing to protect intellectual property and open its economy further to American businesses, China made the top 10 list for the second year in a row.
With those improvements, China leapfrogged France to take the 31st spot in the “ease of doing business” ranking, moving up 15 places, according to the World Bank report.
And despite US complaints, the report credited China with improving protections for minority investors, strengthening procedures for enforcing contracts and making trade easier with changes to customs administration and port infrastructure.
“Removing barriers facing entrepreneurs generates better jobs, more tax revenues and higher incomes, all of which are necessary to reduce poverty and raise living standards,” World Bank Group President David Malpass said in a statement.
Nigeria is also ranked 131 on the list after moving up by 15 places from its 2019 spot.
“Nigeria conducted reforms impacting six indicators, including making the enforcement of contracts easier, which placed the 200-million-person economy among the world’s top improvers.
“Only two Sub-Saharan African economies rank in the top 50 on the ease of doing business rankings while most of the bottom 20 economies in the global rankings are from the region,” WorldBank said in a statement.
India landed on the most-improved list for the third year in a row, making it easier to start a business by abolishing filing fees, lowering the time and cost of seeking construction permits and making trade easier with port improvements and an improved electronic platform for submitting documents.
The country jumped 14 places to number 63 in the global rankings.
The other eight economies where business climates improved the most were Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, India, and Nigeria, the study found.
New Zealand continues to top the global rankings, with Singapore, Hong Kong right behind, with Korea in fifth place, and the United States sixth.
The World Bank studies reforms in 10 areas of business activity in 190 economies, including issues like construction permits, getting electricity and paying taxes