Ease of Doing Business in Pakistan

4 November 2015 update: Great that we had investment conference in Islamabad under Miftah Ismail’s BoI where the Prime Minister Sharif and the Finance Minister Dar spoke. Shall we now move to correct this ranking?

Fixing things is no rocket science when you are aware of the fault-lines, their cost to the economy and the country’s potential and, particularly, when you also know what to fix and how.

So, what’s stopping Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, himself from a business background, and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to make it easy for the world to do business in and with Pakistan?

Apathy perhaps?

In World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 ranking that came out today, Pakistan has ranked very poorly – at 138 out of 189 countries, with a Distance to Frontier (DTF) score of 51.69. Last year, we were ranked at 136, so this year, we are two notches down.

Countries are ranked on the basis of the DTF score which is a composite measure of a country’s progress along a series of indicators including:

  • Starting a business
  • Dealing with construction permits
  • Getting electricity
  • Registering property
  • Getting credit
  • Protecting minority investors
  • Paying taxes
  • Trading across borders
  • Enforcing contracts
  • Resolving insolvency

Pakistan's ranking on World Bank Doing Business 2016 Report

Pakistan’s ranking on each indicator: World Bank Doing Business 2016 Report.

The report says estimated losses in Pakistan due to power outages cost up to 34 per cent of the annual revenue. In comparison, businesses in the Central African Republic (CAR) only reported losses of up to 25 per cent of revenue.

OK, so fixing power outages may not be be possible in the shorter term, but who says bureaucratic hurdles cannot be removed in a speedy fashion? Indian Prime Minister Modi in our neighborhood is introducing some of these reforms and reaping early gains.

Or, perhaps creating an easy-to-use electronic processing of registering a business or paying taxes (not just in theory, but also in practice)?

If this post reaches any corridor of power, it’s time to look at what World Bank is telling us: Make it easy for people to do business with you.

The five countries it is easiest to do business in, and their DTF scores:

  1. Singapore, 87.34
  2. New Zealand, 86.79
  3. Denmark, 84.40
  4. South Korea, 83.88
  5. Hong Kong SAR, China, 83.67

Pakistan ranks 138 out of 189 on ease of doing business

Ranking of other notable countries (World Bank):

Malaysia 18

UAE 31

Turkey 55

Bahrain 65

Qatar 68

Saudi Arabia 82

China 84

Kuwait 101

Sri Lanka 107

Indonesia 109

Iran 118

India 130

Egypt 131

Nigeria 169

Bangladesh 174

Afghanistan 177

Part of news, courtesy: Dawn

Download full report here: World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 ranking

See also, some other indices:

Everything about Pakistan’s competitiveness – in 10 photos

Pakistan 15th most powerful military in the world

Pakistan world’s 43rd largest economy by GDP: World Bank

Pakistan at rock bottom in Human Capital Index 2015

Pakistan ranks 5th in terrorism-affected countries list

Pakistan 10th most fragile country

As S Asia ups economic game, Pakistan risks falling behind: WSJ. The question is why?

Pakistan, Afghanistan only two remaining polio endemic countries

Pakistan #106 in Good Country Index

91% Pakistanis have access to drinking water: Unicef/WHO

Pakistan 65th most vulnerable country to face climate change

Which country has the worst air pollution? | Hint: Pakistan

Pakistan: The brighter side:

Forbes calls Pakistan the next Colombia success story, asks US to see beyond security lens

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects pick up pace

$46B China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: 15 years, 3 routes, 51 projects

Is trade with post-sanctions Iran another Godsend after China?

Bloomberg on Pakistan’s economic revival, construction boom

Next year, Pakistan may upgrade to emerging-market status: WSJ

Naya Pakistan: Travel from Pindi to Islamabad in 20¢ in wifi-ed AC bus

Rs 165B Orange Line Metro Train approved for Lahore

Green Line train from Islamabad to Karachi with free wifi

Rs15B Green Line metro bus project for Karachi announced

No ordinary day as international cricket returns to Pakistan

Pakistan is the world’s fastest-growing Muslim economy: The Economist

Pakistan is enjoying a rare period of optimism: The Economist

Good! Pakistan no more among the most corrupt in the world

Pakistan world’s least expensive country: WB

Do not miss our Understanding Pakistan Series

Wali on Pakistan of future

A miracle: Pakistan score in Long Term Orientation goes from Zero to 50

Pakistani culture through 6-D Model

Native languages in Pakistan

How future oriented are we?

How we messed up Pakistan: A series by Wali

Pakistan’s two value crimes no one talks about

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