Russia and India rise up World Bank rankings but regional hubs win the day

Russia and India have emerged as two of the biggest winners in the World Bank’s latest Doing Business rankings, with the institution labelling Russia an easier place to do business than more than 10 EU member states and  Moscow a more business-friendly location than either Brussels or Rome, despite the spectre of international sanctions and concerns over corruption – although the Russian capital lies only 30th within its own domestic rankings table. These are led by the aircraft and automotive  hub of Ulyanovsk located on the banks of the Volga; the Mordovian capital of Saransk; and the industrial and transportation centre of Vladikavkaz in the Northern Caucasus, close to the Russian  border with Georgia.
It is Georgia, in fact, that comes out top in the World Bank’s regional rankings for Europe and Central Asia with Russia lying 4th and Kazakhstan 5th, and Belarus one place behind. Other Eurasian states fared less well. Azerbaijan is 57th, Turkey 60th, Uzbekistan 74th, the Kyrgyz Republic 77th and Tajikistan 123rd.
India, meanwhile has shot up from 130th to 100th in the world this year, with the bank listing it as one of the 10 most improved economies thanks to a reform push by prime minister Narendra Modi’s government – but again its major cities trail behind some of its regional commercial and industrial  hubs, led by Ludhiana (the Punjab), Hyderabad (Telangana ) and Bhubaneswar (Odisha). World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has previously praised the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for seizing on India’s poor ranking as an impetus for reform. 
Overall, New Zealand is adjudged the easiest place to do business with Singapore lying in second place and Denmark third, followed by South Korea and Hong Kong. Mainland China is way back in 78th, one place behind the Kyrgyz Republic and twelve behind Albania. The report surveyed 30 Chinese cities and concluded  that starting a business was easiest in Hangzhou (Zhejiang province) and most difficult in Guiyang (Guizhou). It also found that the process of registering property was most efficient in Shanghai and least efficient in Nanning (Guangxi). Enforcing a contract was easiest in Guangzhou (Guangdong) and most difficult in Lanzhou (Gansu).

Source: FT