Thinking Aloud: “Doing Business 2015”

Nov. 1, 2014 by Darius 

This week, the World Bank released its annual report on global business prospects: “Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency.”  The report evaluates governmental regulations and how they impact doing business.

Coming in at number one, for the ninth straight year, is Singapore.  No surprise there.  Many of the usual candidates are in the top 10: New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, and Finland.  The US is number seven, while Hong Kong is number two.

The worst-rated country for doing business is Eritrea.  No surprise there either: a massively corrupt dictatorship that effectively enslaves much of its population isn’t so great for investment.  But while much of Africa is still struggling, sub-Saharan Africa was also the region of greatest improvement.  According to the report, 70% of sub-Saharan countries carried out at least one beneficial reform.  West Africa in particular did well: Senegal, Togo, Benin, and Côte D’Ivoire were among the most-improved countries.  Somewhat surprisingly, the Democratic Republic of Congo was also among the biggest improvers—a rare and probably welcome bit of good news for that embattled country.

Afghanistan was rated as the worst country in Asia for doing business (though North Korea is absent from the rankings), coming in at 183 of 189 overall.  Iraq, the other country that the United States spent the last decade “fixing,” looks good in comparison to Afghanistan at 156th overall.

In general, the report confirmed what has been obvious all along: Sub-Saharan Africa is improving rapidly but has a long way to go, war zones aren’t good for business investment, and Scandinavia is where you want to be. 🙂

You can read the full report at

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