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Monday, September 26, 2005

An Enabling Environment for Doing Business?

By Rob Katz

The World Bank's annual Doing Business report carries the subtitle "Creating Jobs" this year (free overview available - PDF). Its indicators - using data comparable across a remarkable 155 countries - can be used to analyze how governments encourage or inhibit investment, productivity, and growth, i.e. job creation. These data further operationalize Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto's theories on dead capital and legal reform. If you're a multinational corporation and want to do business at the BOP, this report should be required reading - how easily can we set up in country X? (Quick answer: if X is in Eastern Europe, relatively easier than if X is in Africa - but read the report for why). If you're a local enterprise, it might be useful to find out which countries have comparable regulatory environments - and then check the Activity Database for successful models that have worked under those regimes. And for b-school students and professors, the aid community, and investors, your input on the report is encouraged by the authors through an online discussion. There are already 26 well-written comments and good back-and-forth from the experts. More commentary can be found on the PSD Blog. No matter your background, its time to get down to "doing business" in 2006.
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