Rwanda improves eleven places in Doing Business

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The World Bank said economies of the Middle East and North Africa significantly accelerated the pace of reforms in the past year, with 43 reforms, compared to 29 the previous year.

The country is said to have made starting a business easier by reducing the time needed to obtain a business licence.

The measures in the report released yesterday said Nigeria scored 52.89 higher than 51.52 which it scored in the 2017 report as it made improvements in ease of starting a business, getting electricity, trading across borders and enforcing contracts, ranking 146 out of 190 countries. It also improved building quality control by introducing decennial liability and insurance. This year's top 10 countries that advanced the most based on number of reforms undertaken, are Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Azerbaijan, India, Togo, Kenya, Cote d'Ivoire, Turkey and Rwanda.

Hong Kong performed best when it came to ease of dealing with construction permits (1), paying taxes (1), getting electricity (3) and starting a business (5).

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The annual report, which ranks countries on business-friendliness, procedural ease, regulatory architecture and absence of bureaucratic red tape, comes at a time when the recently elected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government is approaching friendly countries and the International Monetary Fund to ease the economic crisis facing the country.

The government also introduced the reorganisation procedure and improved the continuation of the debtors' business during insolvency (bankruptcy) proceedings for Karachi and Lahore. But it fell short in registering property (53), resolving insolvency (44), getting credit (32) and enforcing contracts (30).

Suresh Prabhu, Commerce Minister, attributed the improvement in the ranking to the collaborative effort by the state and central government.

"It costs 25 percent of the income per capita to start a business in Kenya which is nearly ten times more expensive than in cote d'voire and the process takes 23 days compared to just four days in Rwanda", the report states. Among South Asian countries, it is now easiest to do business in India.

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"This year's results clearly demonstrate government commitment in many economies, large and small, to nurture entrepreneurship and private enterprise."

Capitalising on these improvements, there are more opportunities for improvement in many other Doing Business areas. This is also due to a notable reduction in time and cost to import and export, in terms of documentary and border compliance.

Rwanda got 3rd place on the aspect of access to credit.

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

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"These efforts have had transformative and positive effects on the judicial system as a whole, but also in the areas of commercial litigation and insolvency specifically", the report said.