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Gulf Countries Climb World Bank Business Climate Rankings, Latin America Fades (Reuters)
October 23, 2019
From the article:
Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia sharply improved their rankings in the World Bank’s latest Doing Business report, while Latin American countries largely lagged in reforms and New Zealand took the top spot for the fourth year in a row.
The report released in Washington late Wednesday night ranks countries on their business climates, and found that the most improved countries over the previous year were Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, India and Nigeria.
Saudi Arabia climbed 30 places to 62nd, while Jordan climbed 29 to 75th, driven by reforms aimed at building more economic diversification, the World Bank said.
It said Saudi Arabia’s reforms included establishing a one-stop shop for business registration, introducing a secured transactions law and an insolvency law, improving protections for minority investors, and measures to bring more women into the workforce...
U.S. officials said that after cancelling last year, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and presidential adviser Jared Kushner would also attend the forum, which aims to showcase Saudi Arabia as a business destination.
'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,' Malpass said in a statement.
Critics say the report is too heavily weighted in favor of deregulation.
'This is a pure measure of deregulation. This index takes a fairly extreme position on market fundamentalism,' said Justin Sandefur, a fellow at the Washington-based Center for Global Development.