Russia’s Progress in the Doing Business Rating Can be Explained by a Small Trick

Russia has demonstrated of late good dynamics in the Doing Business Rating of the World Bank, said Augusto Lopes-Karlos, Director of the Global Indicators and Analytics Department at the 5th Gaidar Forum on January 16.


In his turn, Sergei Naryshkin, Chairman of the State Duma said that the 92nd place was a "modest one", but yet the progress was made in the past few years: in 2013 the Russian Federation was rated the 111th, while in 2012 – the 119th. "Let us not flatter ourselves with that". Also, Sergei Naryshkin reminded that in his Decrees of May 2013 Russian President Vladimir Putin set the objective to attain the 50th place and the 20th place in the Doing Business Rating by 2015 and 2018, respectively.


Russia's progress in the Doing Business Rating can be explained by a small trick. The thing is that with small improvements here and there Russia moves 3-4 places upwards. Now it can be done easily as Russia is nearly at the bottom of the first hundred of countries and has a low base. As a result, many agencies receive good reporting and can live without troubles for a year or two. However, as Russia's positions improve it will become more complicated to do that.


In addition to the above, the Doing Business Rating and economic growth indices are closely linked. If in November 2012 Russia expected a 3.5% growth in GDP in 2013, but it turned out to be equal to 1.3% it was a failure. After that, it is impropriate to demand a five-step advance in the Doing Business Rating.


So, judging by the dynamics of economic growth the 50th place in the rating by 2015 can hardly be achieved. Russia should be pursuing the goal to enter the top 20, rather than struggle for a five step advance in the rating. It is a kind of a motivation maneuver. It is important to set ambitious tasks.


А.L. Vedev, Director of the Structural Research Center