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Racing for Ease of Doing Business Rankings

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We thought you might be interested in learning more about the latest controversies concerning the World Bank’s (WB) Ease of Doing Business rankings.

The Ease of Doing Business rankings play a crucial role in determining a country’s attractiveness for foreign investments. In fact, an increasing number of the rising world’s powers like China or India have recognized the immense influence of the rankings and have made it their focus to climb up the ladder.

However, lately, there have been controversies floating over the credibility of the rankings and the methodology used to rank the countries. The World Bank responded in December 2020 with an internal review of the methodology and addressed some of the critical points, which changed several countries’ positions in the rankings.

“Over the 25 years of successfully developing and implementing IT systems dedicated to improving government efficiency and as a consequence Ease of Doing Business rankings, we still come upon cases where WB questionnaires are filled in by state and business representatives who lack specific knowledge about the field they are talking about. This is because all too often governments fail to communicate and educate their representatives and citizens about the digital or any other new changes that have been made to improve the business scene. Of course, it is still a collaborative effort between WB and states to cross-check the data and ensure objectivity, but countries should also play their part in the process.

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“When NRD Companies implemented a modern sales tax collection system VFDMS in Zanzibar, we went the extra mile and prepared a communication guideline to help the government spread the news about the new system. This should help to avoid any misunderstandings about the project as the society and the whole government will be educated enough to know the reasons, processes, and benefits of the new order and were able to prepare for the coming changes.

“We have also seen that oftentimes, especially developing countries, focus exclusively on the rankings as if they are the ultimate goal. This might eventually prove to be counterproductive as the methodology of the rankings themselves are subject to change. Rankings are measuring the result, but should not be the result itself. It is more sustainable and logical to focus on and eliminate real issues by providing the best public e-services possible and digitally transforming government processes related to the business environment.

“But what is most important is that an organisation like the World Bank is willing to take responsibility and correct mistakes. As long as there is integrity and honesty in the process, the rankings are in good hands.”

If you have any questions or need more information, or would like to talk to Mrs. Ieva Tarailiene, please let us know and we’ll arrange a remote meeting.

Mrs. Ieva Tarailiene has been a regional contributor to the World Bank Doing Business report since 2013. Ieva Tarailiene holds a registry practice manager position and principal consultant’s roles in NRD Companies. More about Ieva Tarailiene.

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