Pakistan was listed among top 10 global improvers in World Bank’s 2017 Doing Business rankings.

According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report 2017, Pakistan made some progress towards ease of doing business for small and medium-sized enterprises. World Bank’s Country Director for Pakistan tweeted:

Among top 10 improvers, yes. However, Pakistan still ranks poorly – at 144 out of 190 countries, with a Distance to Frontier (DTF) score of 51.77. Full scorecard at bottom of this post.

Last year, Pakistan ranked at 148 (according to this year’s methodology), so we are four notches up this year.

In World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business Report, Pakistan ranks 138

India moved up by just one point to 130 this year as compared to 131 ranking last year. There was a widespread disappointment among Indian policymakers and media.

One tweet said: ‘India crawls up only one place to 130 out of 190 in World Bank ease of doing business. So much for all the chest thumping.’ Another:

The disappointment in India was evident more so because only 10 days ago at BRICS Summit in Goa, Modi had claimed that ‘we have taken a number of steps for ease of doing business in country and the results are visible.’

Wali’s note:

I was part of the Karachi briefing that BoI chairman Minister Miftah Ismail and PM Delivery Unit (PMDU) organised for contributors from the government departments to DB report. I could sense that the pace of reform was painfully slow.

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? Or busy with more pressing issue of dealing with a more powerful stakeholder after your government’s continuity? Rightly so?

More about Pakistan economy

Harvard predicts Pakistan GDP to grow by 5% over next 10 years

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

Pakistan GDP set to grow by 5.3% by 2020: IMF

Pakistan outperforms 26 frontier and emerging markets in 2016: Bloomberg

$10B TAPI natural gas pipeline to be operational in 2020

Pakistan to become full member as SCO shifts focus from security to economy

Pakistan is less corrupt than last year. This is good news. What’s the bad news?

Pakistan petrol prices 18th lowest in the world


Countries are ranked on the basis of the DTF score which is a composite measure of a country’s progress along a series of 10 indicators:

  1. Starting a business
  2. Dealing with construction permits
  3. Getting electricity
  4. Registering property
  5. Getting credit
  6. Protecting minority investors
  7. Paying taxes
  8. Trading across borders
  9. Enforcing contracts
  10. Resolving insolvency

According to a World Bank press release:

A record 137 economies around the world have adopted key reforms that make it easier to start and operate small and medium-sized businesses.

The developing countries carried out more than 75 percent of the 283 reforms in the past year, with Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for over one-quarter of all reforms.

In its global country rankings of business efficiency, Doing Business 2017 awarded its coveted top spot to New Zealand.

Singapore ranks second in DB 2017, followed by Denmark, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Sweden and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Have you seen CPEC stories on this blog?

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: A timeline

16 CPEC projects in Balochistan, 8 in KPK: Chinese Embassy

Chinese Embassy shares progress on CPEC projects

40 CPEC projects in 4 photos & 60 seconds

CPEC gets 4-layer security as Gwadar to be weapon-free


The world’s top 10 improvers, based on reforms undertaken, are:

  1. Brunei Darussalam
  2. Kazakhstan
  3. Kenya
  4. Belarus
  5. Indonesia
  6. Serbia
  7. Georgia
  8. Pakistan
  9. United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  10. Bahrain

Some other indices on Pakistan

Pakistani nationality ranks second least valuable in the world

Pakistani passport ranked second worst for international travel

Pakistan 11th strongest military in the world

Pakistan ranks 11th worst in Global Hunger Index

Nuclear warheads down worldwide, up in South Asia

Pakistan’s global competitiveness – in 11 photos

Pakistan at rock bottom in Human Capital Index

Pakistan world’s 14th most fragile country

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

Karachi 6th least liveable city in the world

Peshawar is the world’s second most polluted city


How Pakistan and comparator economies rank on the Ease of Doing Business 2017

In South Asia, five of the region’s eight economies implemented a total of 11 reforms in the past year, compared with nine the previous year.

Pakistan, which was among the world’s top 10 improvers, implemented several reforms this past year, as did India and Sri Lanka.

The bulk of the business reform activity in the region was aimed at facilitating cross-border trade.

However, Afghanistan and Pakistan, stipulate additional hurdles for women entrepreneurs.


Understanding Pakistan Series by Wali

Back to the future: Pakistan in 2050

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

Is Whatsapp your source of info? Welcome to Project Ignorance

  • Nadia

    Nice post, Wali Bhai.

    Our government should save and promote small businesses and home industries.

    There should be support for women entrepreneurs.

    India and China value small businesses, where men in family and society encourage women to come up with small business ideas.

    Here, we prefer to sit in front of TV or social media for hours but are gradually losing value and respect for work.

  • Brigitte BOUVET

    I am so happy to see how Pakistan performs well.
    Pakistan zindabad !