Slacking on Reform
Russia falling behind CIS countries
A study by the World Bank places Russia low on the list of countries enacting business-friendly reforms. According to the report, Russia enacted no legislation in 2008 to make life easier for small and mid-sized businesses, earning it a rank of 120 out of 181 countries. Top CIS reformers in 2008 were Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Kyrgyzstan. Azerbaijan shot from 97 to 33 in the rankings, a result of two years of targeted reforms, said study co-author Svetlana Bagaudinova. Russia, by contrast, fell from 112 on the list in 2007. The study, Doing Business, tracks the cost and time it takes to meet legal requirements to start and run a business in a given country. The world’s top three business-friendly environments are Singapore, New Zealand, and the United States. The report concluded that Russia’s weakest point is in construction permits, where it ranked 180 out of 181. To start construction in Russia, a company must complete 54 procedures over the course of 704 days.
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