World Bank rates China, India as 'most improved' for doing business

WASHINGTON, D.C. — China and India made the top 10 list of governments that have done the most in the past year to improve the ease of doing business in their countries, the World Bank said Wednesday.

Despite a bitter trade war, in which the United States is demanding reforms from Beijing to protect intellectual property and open its economy further to American businesses, China made the top 10 list for the second year in a row.

With those improvements, China leapfrogged France to take the 31st spot in the "ease of doing business" ranking, moving up 15 places, according to the World Bank report.

And despite U.S. complaints, the report credited China with improving protections for minority investors, strengthening procedures for enforcing contracts and making trade easier with changes to customs administration and port infrastructure.

"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," World Bank Group President David Malpass said in a statement.

India landed on the most-improved list for the third year in a row, making it easier to start a business by abolishing filing fees, lowering the time and cost of seeking construction permits and making trade easier with port improvements and an improved electronic platform for submitting documents.

The country jumped 14 places to number 63 in the global rankings.

The other eight economies where business climates improved the most were Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, India, and Nigeria, the study found.

New Zealand continues to top the global rankings, with Singapore, Hong Kong right behind, with Korea in fifth place, and the United States sixth.

The World Bank studies reforms in 10 areas of business activity in 190 economies, including issues like construction permits, getting electricity and paying taxes.

 Agence France-Presse

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