Economies in the South Asian region have made gains to improve the ease of doing business for domestic small and medium enterprises, according to a World Bank (WB) report released in Dhaka on Thursday, reports BSS/Xinhua.
The report entitled “Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform” noted that Afghanistan and India were ranked as top improvers for the region.
India, which is a top improver for a second consecutive year, implemented six reforms in the past year and advanced to 77th place in the global ranking, said the report, adding India is now the region’s top-ranked economy.
According to the report, Afghanistan, a top improver for the first time, carried out a record five reforms, moving up to 167th rank.
With three reforms carried out in the past year, Pakistan showed remarkable improvement in doing business, advancing 11 spots this year.
Sri Lanka also carried out four reforms which included making Dealing with Construction Permits easier, while the introduction of online systems made it easier to pay taxes in Sri Lanka and Bhutan.
According to the report, Bangladesh moved one place up from last year’s ranking.
“These results from the Doing Business 2019 report are great news for South Asia and underscore the need to persist with challenging reforms that can provide more opportunities for people to lift themselves out of poverty and spread prosperity ore widely,” said Hartwig Schafer, vice president for
the South Asia Region of the World Bank.
“We’re looking forward to working with governments in the region to achieve more gains in coming years.”
“South Asia continues on a strong reform agenda, thanks to political commitment and hard work that is involved in improving the domestic investment climate. This is particularly commendable in the case of
Afghanistan, where conflict and insecurity make the work so much more challenging,” said Rita Ramalho, Senior Manager of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, which produces the report.
World Bank says Doing Business report includes gender dimensions in three indicators: Starting a Business, Registering Property and Enforcing Contracts.
It finds South Asian economies perform best in the areas of Protecting Minority Investors and Starting a Business.