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?
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 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:
- Singapore, 87.34
- New Zealand, 86.79
- Denmark, 84.40
- South Korea, 83.88
- Hong Kong SAR, China, 83.67
Ranking of other notable countries (World Bank):
Saudi Arabia 82
Sri Lanka 107
Part of news, courtesy: Dawn
Download full report here: World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 ranking
See also, some other indices:
Which country has the worst air pollution? | Hint: Pakistan
Pakistan: The brighter side:
Do not miss our Understanding Pakistan Series