New Telegraph

World Bank Launches Transparent Business Climate Rankings

The World Bank yesterday unveiled new methodology and improved safeguards for assessing the business climate in up to 180 countries after revelations of data irregularities and favoritism toward China forced it to cancel its flagship rankings two years ago.

The bank scrapped its “Doing Business” rankings in September 2021, citing internal audits and an independent probe that found senior World Bank leaders had pressured staff to alter data to favor China.

It cited data irregularities that also boosted rank ings of other countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan. According to a statement issued by the Bank, a pilot edition of the new replacement annual series called “Business Ready” will be published in the spring of 2024, covering an initial group of 54 economies in Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and SubSaharan Africa.

More countries will be added in the next two years as the bank refines its methodology and ramps up the new project, which aims to help countries attract investment and boost jobs and productivity to accelerate development.

The statement said: “Business Ready … reflects a more balanced and transparent approach toward evaluating a country’s business and investment climate.” World Bank Chief Economist Indermit Gill said the new approach enabled “a fuller and sharper measure of the investment climate of countries,” something he said was badly needed in a global economy in the midst of a generalized slowdown.

“Business Ready” was shaped by recommendations from World Bank experts, governments, the private sector, and civil society groups, and includes for the first time worker rights, as defined

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