WASHINGTON- Small and well-run Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong are the world’s easiest places to run a business, while global giants China, Brazil and India remain far down the list, according the World Bank.
Three small but hot Pacific economies led the Bank’s annual “Doing Business” report, released Wednesday, which focuses on where businesses are best helped and least hindered by government.
The top 10 was filled out by Denmark, South Korea, Norway, the United States, Britain, Finland and Australia, mostly the same developed economies as in previous years.
But the report, despite revisions to its methodology after upsetting China in past years, left emerging market giants far down the list, fast growth and success in drawing investment notwithstanding.
China ranked 90th out of 189 countries and territories, barely improved from 93 a year ago; Brazil is 120th, also up three places; and India was ranked at 142, two spots worse than before.
All three ranked lower than troubled economies and difficult investment environments like Russia and Greece.
But that only underscored the admittedly narrow focus of the survey, in terms of assessing a country’s success.
“‘Doing Business’ measures a slender segment of the complex organism that any modern economy is,” admitted World Bank chief economist Kaushik Basu in a forward to the report.
“An economy can do poorly on ‘Doing Business’ indicators but do well in macroeconomic policy or social welfare interventions.”
The scores measure the operating environment for a business, including how easy it is to start a company, to transfer a property or resolve a commercial dispute; the time and cost of clearing imports and exports through a port; how easy is it to get an electricity connection, and other issues that face business owners in any country.