Earlier today, the World Bank released its annual Doing Business report, which tracks business regulation reforms and ranks emerging economies on the “ease of doing business.”
Private Sector Development
Based on the impact of reforms implemented between June 2008 and May 2009, Rwanda has been named "world's top reformer" in this year's Doing Business report. This is the first time an African country has received the title. It now takes a Rwandese entrepreneur just two procedures and three days to start a business. Transferring property takes less time, thanks to a reorganized registry and statutory time limits. Investors have more protection, insolvency reorganization has been streamlined, and a wider range of assets can be used as collateral to access credit.
Here is some good reading on Africa:
- As Africa grows richer, there are reasons to be pessimistic about its ability to capitalize on the benefits of a reduction in population growth, says The Economist. One reason is that one in two Africans is a child, which means that traditional ways of caring for children in extended families are breaking down.
(By Otaviano Canuto)
In PREM Note 141 released last week, Milan Brahmbhatt and Luiz Pereira da Silva point to several structural differences between the global economy today and in the 1930s that tend to differentiate the current crisis from the Great Depression. The larger weight of faster-growing developing countries in the current world economy is among those differences, one that bodes well for recovery prospects.
Much has changed in Zimbabwe since last November. There are signs of recovery following the return of price stability after full dollarization in January. However doubts about the political situation continue to obstruct further recovery.
The most visible sign of improvement is the demise of surreal hyperinflation which according to one estimate peaked at about 80 billion percent. Interestingly, full dollarization initially occurred not because the government chose it as a deliberate stabilization measure. Exasperated residents simply abandoned the Zimbabwean dollar and moved on to using multiple hard currencies. In January, the Government too abandoned the Zimbabwean dollar and started using the US Dollar and the South African Rand for both collecting taxes and spending. Hyperinflation died a natural death in Zimbabwe, it was not tamed.
Ernst & Young interviewed a large of number of managers and owners of companies around the world, first in January 2009 and again in June 2009 . Companies were surprised by the speed and severity of downturn and the impact was more than expected in January 2009. Many respondents feel that the crisis has permanently changed their operating model (43%), the regulatory framework for their sector (45%) and risk management (56%). The compilation of their responses on the impact of and responses to the crisis is quite revealing.
With its massive talent-base, a unique ability to attract its best and brightest students to the engineering discipline, and the presence of some of the world’s leading companies, India has an enormous potential to modernize its economy through engineering education and technology.
However, I think the potential is not fully exploited. The majority of new engineers in India are superb at rote memorization useful to pass paper exams. Many students, however, are less skilled at solving real-life problems with creativity. Also they lack communication and team skills in order to succeed in a demanding international setting.
The investment climate is the fundamental socio-economic framework in which firms operate – the macroeconomic and trade policies they face, the labor and financial markets in which they recruit and raise money, the available infrastructure and imposed regulations, as well a
|The expense of operating outboard motor boats means that visits to each community are few and far between.|
In December, the project was just beginning to get going in the provinces. The agriculture workers were looking to the RDP to help restore agriculture extension services. Practically speaking, this means purchasing small boats, outboard motors, fuel, or rehabilitation of offices. At the Ag offices, I was told about the series of dead outboard boat motors lining one wall – including provenance and whatever series of incidents had rendered them inoperable.
The recently elected government has recently announced an ambitious goal of eliminating slums in India in its most recent five year plan. Will this be a possibility? If you ask the construction companies, the answer is yes. A number of entrepreneurs and enterprises have embarked on new initiatives to provide affordable housing called such as Tata and its construction of Shubh Griha north of Mumbai.
With the increased rate of economic growth over the last few years, housing developers have tended to focus on the higher end luxury developments causing property prices to soar; I was astounded that luxury apartment homes in Mumbai cost the same as they do in New York and London. As demand for these properties have fallen due to the global financial crisis and increased interest rates, the focus on lower cost housing has increased due to a larger market coupled with acute shortages of housing in urban India.