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Ease of Doing Business Index: SL aims to be within top 25 by 2025 

05 Apr 2021

By Alma Rizvi   The Government is targeting Sri Lanka’s ascension to the 25th place in the Ease of Doing Business Index (EDBI) by 2025, with an aim to attract more Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into the country.  State Minister of Money & Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal, in a recent tweet, stated that Sri Lanka's EDBI ranking in 2010 was 105th, but improved to 85th place by 2014. However, according to him, by 2019, it slipped to 99th, and now they are working to improve the ranking to 25th by 2025. For further details, The Morning Business contacted Cabraal, who stated that Sri Lanka is keen to improve its EDBI, since it is a crucial ranking considered by investors actively looking to invest in the country. “Initiatives will be implemented and exercised taking into consideration the current economic situation. We will prepare a programme that will ensure practices are in line with the best in the world, and thereby progress ahead to the target in a planned manner,” he stated. Cabraal emphasised that the initiative is not solely geared towards the ranking alone; instead, it aims to create an environment enhancing people to engage in business.  Meanwhile, Sri Lanka stepped from the 100th to 99th place among 190 countries on the influential World Bank Doing Business Index in the 2019 index. This is the highest-ranking Sri Lanka has achieved since 2015. It had been at the 114th, 109th, 110th, and 111th positions in the index for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively.  According to the World Bank report, Sri Lanka had progressed in 2019 by 2.3%, although the economy contracted by 1.6% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020.  “The contraction was driven by weak performances of construction, textile, mining, and tea industries. Additionally, the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to negatively impact the economic activity severely since the first quarter of 2020,” the report stated. Cabral further explained that the World Bank has set standards and procedures for the rankings’ analysis, and Sri Lanka is examining specific areas to improve and comply with these standards and procedures, thereby moving forward in a holistic manner towards a better ranking. The Doing Business Index ranks countries by looking at the processes for business incorporation, getting a building permit, obtaining an electricity connection, transferring property, getting access to credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, engaging in international trade, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.

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