Pakistan Regains It’s Decade-Old Ease of Doing Business Ranking

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Pakistan has improved its position amid COVID-19 shock on Ease of Doing Business Index (EODB) for the second consecutive year, according to the annual report issued by Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

The South Asian country’s EODB index ranking had slipped during the period 2012 thru 2018. Its ranking first saw a significant downslide during 2012, and continued to slide until 2018 when it hit 147 out of 190. Since then, its ranking has been steadily climbing up.

A Pakistani observer says, “the Foreign Exchange regime has been liberalized and the growth is being driven by industrial activities and not by loan-driven consumption.” “It’s a major shift,” he adds, an observation nodded by independent analysts in the region.

As per the World Bank’s latest rankings on ease of doing business for 2020, Pakistan improved its position by 28 points –from 136 to 108, which is an unprecedented improvement, the report said.

Out of 6 reform areas acknowledged in the 2020 report, the highest improvement (of 58 points) was made in Starting a Business indicator.

The SECP is leading the reform process, says a report by the country’s official news agency APP and published by the Daily Times.

Pakistan’s ranking in this indicator improved from 130 to 72 and is placed in the 2nd position among South Asian countries in terms of ease of Starting a Business.

The ease of doing business score measures an economy’s performance with respect to a measure of regulatory best practice across the entire sample of 41 indicators for 10 Doing Business topics: Starting a business; Dealing with construction permits; Getting electricity; Registering property; Getting credit; Protecting minority investors; Paying taxes; Trading across border; Enforcing contracts; and Resolving insolvency.

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The country has been facing challenges amid slowing global economy headwinds which led to inflationary trends and rise in consumer prices.

A massive housekeeping is ongoing –its overwhelming fiscal debt burden and improvements in regulatory and administrative affairs are on the front burner.

“The cleansing of the financial sector is ongoing and is mammoth,” says the observer. “Identification and effort to get the energy sector from its horns is historic; regeneration of the textile sector particularly in Faisalabad is bringing in labors/workers from other districts. And, the construction sector has lit up like never before.”