Support The Moscow Times!

'Doing Business' Report Could Be Ditched

LONDON — An independent panel set up by the World Bank to look at the validity of one of its highest profile country rankings said Monday that the Bank should stop producing it because it might be misleading.

The Bank's annual "Doing Business" report judges 185 countries on 10 criteria and compiles an index on the ease of doing business, assigning each country a rank. The rankings can carry huge weight with governments.

President Vladimir Putin last year declared a policy objective of raising Russia's ranking to 20th by 2018 from the current 120th place.

But a panel initiated by the Bank's new president, Jim Yong Kim, found that the rankings could too easily be affected by small factors and were sometimes not objective.

"The panel believes the Bank should make a clean break with this practice," it said in a report. The panel was headed by South Africa's planning minister Trevor Manuel.

Singapore topped last year's rankings while Central African Republic was bottom.

According to several sources, China, which was ranked 91 in the most recent report, has pushed for getting rid of the ratings system, arguing that the World Bank should not rank its members.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.