WASHINGTON: Despite its alarming security situation, Karachi remains ahead of other Pakistani cities in business environment indicators, says a World Bank report released on Wednesday.
Pakistan, however, dropped two places on the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking for 2016, although its economic indicators were slightly better this year.
In the bank’s Distance to Frontier (DTF) rating for 2016, Karachi scored 52.04 out of 100 points, slightly better than last year’s 51.97. In 2014, Karachi scored 59.35 points.
Lahore received 51.03 for 2016, little better than last year’s 50.96. In 2014, Lahore received 56.00 points.
The DTF measure shows the distance of each economy to the “frontier,” which represents the best performance observed on each of the indicators across all economies.
Pakistan slips two ranks on the global index
The rankings are determined by sorting the aggregate distance to frontier scores on 10 topics, such as getting credit, land registration, getting electricity, paying taxes and enforcing contracts.
In its Distance to Frontier ratings, the World Bank gave Pakistan 51.69, which is marginally higher than last year’s score of 51.62. Pakistan scored 58.18 in 2014 an 57-36 2013.
But there was a noticeable decline in business environment. Last year, Pakistan was 136 on the business environment list of 189 countries. This year, it slipped two places to 138th.
In South Asia, six of the region’s eight economies implemented a total of nine reforms – the second largest share of any region after Europe and Central Asia.
Economies that implemented several reforms included India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. The region’s highest ranked economy is Bhutan, which has a global ranking of 71.
On its list of 189 countries, the World Bank ranks each on the ease of doing business. A higher ranking indicates more conducive environment for starting and operating a local firm.
Singapore tops the list, followed by New Zealand, Denmark, South Korea, Hong Kong, Britain, the United States, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
India is 130th, ahead of Pakistan but not among the best.
India has a DTF score of 54.68 and was lauded as the most improved economy in South Asia. Eritrea, 189th is at the bottom.
Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2015