Confusion Over Sri Lanka’s Rankings on the Latest Doing Business Index

The World Bank-IFC’s annual ranking and scoring of countries’ business climates and regulatory systems was released yesterday. But there was some confusion. The latest report has done a full revision of its previous years rankings, and several countries – including Sri Lanka and India – had seen their ranks of last year revised.

But many local news outlets didn’t catch on to this.

LBO was the first to report it, both online and via SMS alert, that,

Sri Lanka falls 8 places in “ease of doing business” ranking to 107 due to lengthy registration processes, says World Bank-LBO

Later on in the night this was corrected as the error was pointed out.

Similarly, the DailyFT today reported in its print version that Sri Lanka dropped down the rankings in the latest report.

Sri Lanka wasn’t the only country that saw this confusion. In India, too, there was some confusion on whether the country had jumped 4 or 12 places.

The table below shows the correct rankings.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 3.34.32 PM

Under the revised rankings, Sri Lanka was in fact in 113th place last year, not 99th as per the previous edition. This year the rank is 107. So technically, Sri Lanka went UP the rankings by 6 places. But the underlying message is that last year Sri Lanka was not even in the top 100 countries, and neither are we this year. Many other countries are doing progressive reforms to their business climates, to make it easier to start, run, and close businesses. It is a pro-business regulatory environment that will unleash private sector potential in Sri Lanka. Without it, we will continue with a narrow private sector, high informality, a handful of truly globally competitive enterprises, and mediocre growth that doesn’t promote structural transformation of the economy.

(The full report is available here)

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