Russia climbed six places in the past year in the World Bank's ease-of-doing-business ranking released Tuesday but still occupied a lowly 112th place, wedged between the Pacific island of Palau and El Salvador in Central America.
In the "Doing Business 2013" report, authors highlighted Russian government efforts to streamline procedures for obtaining construction permits and paying taxes, particularly stressing attempts to promote the use of tax accounting software and electronic services.
Among notable improvements, Russia's ratings climbed for starting a new business (105th to 101st place), insolvency procedures (61st to 53rd place) and paying taxes (94th to 64th place).
But Russia remained among the worst performers for construction permits (178th) and getting electricity hookups (184th).
As in last year's report, Singapore topped the "Doing Business" ranking, beating competition from Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United States and Denmark, in that order. Five African countries filled out the bottom of the list, with the Central African Republic placing last in 185th position.
While Russia remained in the bottom half of the ranking, other former Soviet countries earned praise and high scores from the report's authors.
Within the former Soviet Union, the leader was Georgia, which took ninth place, with Estonia (21st), Latvia (25th), Armenia (32nd) and Kazakhstan (49th) also beating Russia. But Ukraine (137th), Tajikistan (141st) and Uzbekistan (154th) fared worse.