How the big emerging economies climbed the World Bank business ranking

THE CENTRAL SPORTHOTEL in Davos usually plays host to skiers intent on picturesque descents. But during the World Economic Forum in January it celebrated an eye-catching ascent. One side wall was bedecked with a poster of Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister. Its caption boasted that India had climbed 30 places in the previous year’s World Bank ranking of the easiest places to do business.

China’s prime minister, Li Keqiang, lacks Mr Modi’s flair for self-promotion. But at the next gathering in Davos, he will have an even prouder boast. In the latest World Bank report, published on October 31st, China rose 32 places.

How did they do it? And how credible is their progress? In an ideal world, countries would rise in the World Bank ranking as a welcome by-product of reforms undertaken for their own sake. But India and China are among the 60-plus countries that have government units dedicated to moving upwards, almost as if it were an end in itself.

China’s comprises about 40 people; India’s perhaps 200, plus others working on state-level scorecards. Many teams visit the bank to learn precisely how the scores are calculated. India’s now thinks it could mark its own exam. It announced, long before the bank’s official assessment, the score it felt it “should” receive.

The rankings also loom large in Russia....



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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