“The new Doing Business ranking was released yesterday at 7 o’clock in the evening London time,” Bruno Balvanera, EBRD’s Regional Director for Caucasus, Moldova, Belorussia, said at the UNDP Sub-Regional Conference on Employment held in Tbilisi today.
Doing Business 2016: Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency is the World Bank’s 13th annual report measuring the regulations that enhance business activity in a given country. The report presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 189 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time.
“These rankings, although some are skeptical about their value, really reflect how countries are doing on the comparative basis,” Balvanera said.
Georgia, the leading country in the region in this category, has moved from the 15th place to the 24th in Doing Business. However this downgrade took place only due to the change of World Bank’s methodology, not because of any change in Georgia, the economist believes.
“What surprised me about the Ease of Doing Business Report published yesterday is that there have been no significant changes in all of the five countries that I’m responsible for as the EBRD Regional Representative. We seem to be a little bit stuck in transition, stuck in reform,” Bruno Balvanera said.
The EBRD leading economist belives that one given country cannot enjoy a strong momentum of reform for a number of years in a row. “In Georgia, we saw this strong momentum several years ago that went into fighting corruption, establishing transparency, establishing services. Today, Georgia faces the challenge of strengthening its democratic institutions,” Balvanera said.
The lack of opportunities, slow development of private sector and the lack of FDI all tie into the region’s slow indicators in Doing Business, according to the economist.