Global Regulation Curbing Growth, World Bank Finds

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from NCPA,

Many emerging markets have dramatically improved their business climates in the last year, but a tangle of onerous regulations the world over is curbing much-needed growth from the private sector, the World Bank said in a new report published late Monday in the Wall Street Journal.

“We’re still paying the price associated with the existence with business regulations, procedures and laws that put a heavy burden on the business community,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, head of the World Bank’s global indicators and analysis division.

The bank’s flagship report gauges the ease-and difficulty-of doing business in 189 countries around the world. Specifically, it assesses what it’s like for small-to-medium sized firms to set up businesses, raise capital, pay taxes, enforce contracts, export their goods and a raft of other metrics.

It’s not without controversy. The bank’s own in-house watchdog criticized the report for what it called a “deregulation bias.”

according to the 2012 report, it took an average of 113 days in the worst quartile of countries to establish a business, compared to 29 days for the rest. But in this year’s review, the bank found that 84-day gap had been narrowed to 33 days.

– While countries such as Russia, Rwanda, Ukraine and the Ivory Coast notched some of the biggest upward moves in the ranks, one notable downgrade was China.

– Despite being the world’s second largest economy, China fell to number 96 from 91 in the previous report, putting it well behind Greece, Kazakhstan, Botswana and Tonga.

Although Beijing has been able to fuel stellar growth in the past few decades through fundamental economic reforms, Mr. Lopez-Claros said authorities still have much to do.

“If China and other economies want to sustain their growth rates over the longer term, they will have to address institutional rigidities and other problems that are still constraining the ability of the private sector,” he said.

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