The World Bank Group office in Geneva welcomed back Augusto Lopez Claros, Director of the Global Indicators Group, on November 5, 2014 for a presentation at the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the 2015 Doing Business Report, with this year’s focus on “Going Beyond Efficiency.”
Opening the presentation was Robert Teh, Counsellor, Economic Research and Statistics Division of the WTO, who underscored the value of the report and the wider Bank Group-WTO collaboration on this and other agendas. Lopez Claros shared the main findings of the report and provided an update on new developments of the publication. The report finds that Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business. Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulatory environments are New Zealand; Hong Kong SAR, China; Denmark; the Republic of Korea; Norway; the United States; the United Kingdom; Finland; and Australia.
“The global convergence process continues,” said Lopez Claros. “Doing Business finds that several low-income economies continue to adopt better regulatory practices, eliminating costly and complex procedures and strengthening their legal institutions. This not only reduces the burden on local entrepreneurs; it also improves the economy and the livelihoods of those affected by creating a better and more efficient business environment.”
He explained why the Doing Business rankings are now based on the distance to the frontier measure, where each economy is evaluated based on how close their business regulations are to the best global practices. He shared that this measure provides a more precise view of each economy’s performance and its improvement over time.
Carlos Primo Braga, Director of the Evian Group and Professor of International Political Economy at IMD, enlightened the audience with his remarks about the Report. Expressing his deep support for the publication, Primo Braga underscored the need to appreciate the core implication of the Report and its rankings – the fact that Doing Business serves as a dialogue starter among and with the governments and entices many to look at their business environments in order to find ways to improve.
Moderated by Selina Jackson, the Bank Group’s Special Representative to the UN and the WTO and the Head of the World Bank Group office in Geneva, the discussion then developed with many questions and comments about the report from the audience, which included representatives from the Permanent Missions, UN and other international organizations, academia and NGOs.
The Doing Business 2015 report, as well as its individual chapters can be downloaded here.
About the Doing Business report series: Doing Business analyzes regulations that apply to businesses over their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and resolving insolvency. The aggregate ease of doing business ranking includes 10 areas of regulation and covers 189 economies. Doing Business does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors. For example, it does not measure security, market size, macroeconomic stability or the prevalence of bribery and corruption. Its findings have stimulated policy debates worldwide and enabled a growing body of research on how business regulation relates to economic outcomes across economies.