Foreign investment tag along ease of doing business progress.

Author:Nisar, Ahsan

Byline: Ahsan Nisar

By the time these lines will go in print, World Bank must have issued their Ease of Doing Business Report 2020 in which Pakistan is likely to improve its ranking from 136th position out of 190 countries. Considering the current state of the national economy and the highly pessimistic economic prospects projected for the current and subsequent years in the short run by various national and multilateral organizations it is indeed a matter of immense satisfaction that the World Bank has listed Pakistan among the top 20 countries that introduced reforms in ease of doing business. The World Bank declared Pakistan among top 20 reformers as Islamabad clinched top position by making progress on six indicators out of ten among South Asian economies. India made improvements on four reforms and Bangladesh three reforms. China made progress on eight indicators while Saudi Arabia clinched top position by making improvement in nine indicators out of total ten.

The six areas measured by 'Doing Business' are: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders. Pakistan could have shown improvement in eight indicators in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business (EODB) report 2020 instead of six if the country had undertaken reforms on two key fronts, including reforming district courts and disbursement of loans to the SME sector. Pakistan's improvement in the six areas is a reflection of the country's development of an ambitious reform strategy, including the establishment of a national secretariat and prime minister's reform steering committee. Further, in association with the provincial governments of Punjab and Sindh, the Board of Investment (BoI) in October 2018 had launched 'Doing Business Reforms Plan' aimed at facilitating businesses and improving the investment climate. Pakistan had made the process of starting a...

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