Russia made considerable progress in 2013 toward bolstering its business climate, climbing 20 positions to 92nd place in the annual Ease of Doing Business survey compiled by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Russia climbed four places in 2011, and it improved its position in the 2012 rating from 120th to 112th place largely thanks to its progress in the issue of tax payments.
However, even by gaining eight spots in the Ease of Doing Business ranking every year, Russia is highly unlikely to meet President Vladimir Putin's goal of entering the rating's top 20 economies by 2018. The Russian authorities view Russia's progress in this rating as an indicator of the country's success in improving its investment climate.
Doing Business 2013 report co-author Valentina Saltane, for her part, described Russia's progress in this year's rating as very significant.
Such serious changes may occur mostly in relation to individual indicators, but it is a rare result for a country's rating in general, she told Interfax.
It is the eleventh Doing Business report, which evaluates 189 countries on ten criteria such as ease of opening a new business, ease of securing a construction permit, access to power distribution infrastructure, registration of ownership rights, ease of securing loans, protection of investors' rights, tax payments, as well as a country's role in international trade, its commitment to contracts and its handling of bankruptcy procedures.
The report, which covers the period from June 1, 2012 to June 1, 2013, uses the results achieved by the countries' major business centers (Moscow in Russia).
Russia's neighbors in the rating include Albania, Barbados, Serbia and Jamaica.
Singapore tops the Ease of Doing Business survey for an eighth straight year. The rating's top 10 economies also include Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United States, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Georgia, and Malaysia, which jumped from 12th to 6th place. Australia quit the survey's top 10 after losing one position.
Apart from Russia, remarkable progress toward better business hospitality was also shown by Rwanda, which moved to 32nd from 52nd place, Burundi (to 140th from 159th place, Kosovo (to 86th from 98th place), Ivory Coast (to 167th from 177th place), and Guatemala (to 79th from 93rd place).
Among other CIS member states, the best results were demonstrated by Uzbekistan, which rose to 146th from 154th place. Armenia took 37th place in the rating (32nd in 2012), Belarus 63rd (58th), Kazakhstan 50th (49th), and Azerbaijan 70th (67th).
Among BRICS member countries, Russia was the second most business-friendly economy following South Africa (41st as compared with 39th in 2012). Brazil climbed from 130th to 115th place, while India descended from 132nd to 134th place, and China from 91st to 96th place.
The Republic of Chad was found to be worst place to do business. The Central African Republic was also among the most business-unfriendly countries.
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