Sri Lanka ranked 99th in World Bank Doing Business Index 2020

Sri Lanka has come up one spot from 100th to 99th from among 190 countries on the influential World Bank Doing Business Index for 2020 released today (24).

Sri Lanka’s ‘Doing Business score’ has improved from 61.22 last year to 61.80 in the new index and it is now sandwiched between Samoa at 98 with a score of 62.10 and Seychelles at 100 with a score of 61.70.

This is the highest ranking Sri Lanka has achieved since 2015. It had been languishing at 114th, 109th, 110th and 111th in the indexes for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively. However, it saw a big jump to 100th in the 2019 index.

The World Bank noted that South Asia was the region with the highest share of economies implementing trade reforms in Doing Business 2020, with India and Pakistan both earning spots among the world’s top ten most improved economies.

In the region, Sri Lanka is now ranked below India, Bhutan and Nepal, but ahead of Pakistan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The report noted that Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives had not made any regulatory changes from last year.

“The region underperforms generally in enforcing contracts and registering property. A company needs around 108 days to register a transfer of property in South Asia, more than four times the OECD high-income average of 24 days. Resolving a commercial dispute takes around three years, almost twice as long as among OECD high-income economies,” the World Bank said.

New Zealand sits on top of the index with a score of 86.8 while the highest ranked Asian nation is Singapore which is at 2nd place with a score of 86.2.

The Doing Business Index measures 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.

Designed by the World Bank, it is relied on heavily by businesses around the world when making foreign direct investment decisions.