Doing business in Russia easier than in Italy or Belgium, World Bank rating shows

Doing business in Russia easier than in Italy or Belgium, World Bank rating shows
Russia has made one of the biggest improvements in the World Bank’s latest Doing Business rankings. It is ahead of many Western countries including Belgium and Italy, despite facing international sanctions.

According to the bank’s annual report, Russia has jumped five spots to 35th place in a rating which ranks 190 national economies based on 11 areas of business regulation, such as the ease of starting a business, registering property, getting loans, paying taxes, and enforcing contracts.

In this year’s rating, Russia managed to enter the top 30 in such areas as registration of enterprises and lending. It also entered the top 20 for connections to networks, the registration of property and implementation of contracts.

"The areas where additional efforts would bring major benefits for Russia's businesses include dealing with construction permits and trading across borders," said the report.

World Bank country director and resident representative for Russia, Andras Horvai said: "there has been a demonstration of a sustained and clear commitment in Russia to improve the business climate for domestic small and medium enterprises.” He added, “the reform efforts have been effectively led and coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Development.”

According to the Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin, Russia has been consistently improving its position in the rating for six years. 

"For the third year in a row we are ahead of all BRICS countries, this year we have become the best country from the Eurasian Economic Union. The neighboring countries [in the rating – Ed.] and direct competitors for us are France, Holland, Switzerland, and Japan.”

The minister said Russia remains committed to being in the top 20 of the rating next year, adding it is “becoming more and more difficult for Russia to move up in the rating.”

"It is important to understand that now we have entered the zone where competition between the countries is higher. It was much easier to move from 100th to 50th positions in this respect,” Oreshkin said.

In 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a “100 steps” decree to improve the country’s Doing Business ranking from 118th that year to 50th by 2015 and 20th in 2018.

According to the World Bank rating, New Zealand remained the easiest place in the world to do business. It has outpaced Singapore and Denmark. The United States was ranked sixth, overtaking the UK and Norway.

The report has named Somalia the hardest place in the world to conduct business, below Eritrea, Venezuela, South Sudan and Yemen.