India has climbed 23 spots on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Index in the last two years, and now ranks #77 among 190 global economies. And for the first time ever, it is also the top ranked economy in South Asia. (In 2014, it was ranked sixth.) Among the BRICS nations, India is now placed third. What helped this upward climb was the introduction of GST and the reduction in corporate tax rate.
The World Bank has also listed India among the “top 10 improvers” for the second time in a row. It occupies the fifth spot, while China is at third.
The single biggest gain was in the area of construction permits, where India now ranks #52 globally - 129 places higher than the last time. This comes on the back of the Modi government’s concerted efforts to remove regulatory hurdles and bring down the cost of acquiring permits in the sector. India has also managed to increase quality control efforts, the World Bank stated.
Rita Ramalho, Senior Manager of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, said,
“This year’s results clearly demonstrate government commitment in many economies, large and small, to nurture entrepreneurship and private enterprise.”
On other key parameters such as access to electricity and to credit, cross-border trading, tax payments, contract enforcement, etc, India is among the top 25 countries in the world. On the ‘Trading Among Borders’ front, the country moved up 66 positions from #146 to #80.
In the last two or three years, “all the large emerging markets – such as China, India, Nigeria, South Africa, Indonesia, Russia – have taken on this agenda”, according to Sylvia Solf, head of the World Bank Group’s Reform Advisory Unit. “The fact that they are doing this is groundbreaking,” she added.
Meanwhile, New Zealand emerged as the most attractive business destination in the world. Singapore, Denmark, and Hong Kong followed. The US grabbed the eighth spot, while China was ranked #46 after climbing 30 positions.