Malawi has improved on the World Bank Doing Business (DB) ranking by jumping three steps to 141 this year from last year’s 144, according to the 2016 Doing Business (DB) Report.
The report, released yesterday gives Malawi a score of 51.03 out of 100 compared to 49.74 out of 100 in the 2015 DB rankings.
The rankings are based on the average of each economy’s distance to frontier scores for the 10 topics included in this year’s aggregate ranking and this shows how close each economy is to global best practices in business regulation.
A higher score indicates a more efficient business environment and stronger legal institutions, according to the report.
Although the new ranking puts Malawi on an improvement edge, the data for sub-Saharan Africa shows that there have been zero reforms this time in the country unlike in 2015 which saw Malawi implementing two key reforms.
Explaining Malawi’s new ranking, World Bank Malawi communications Officer Zeria Banda said Malawi’s ranking has improved even though there were no reforms.
“This is because of the change in methodology in the 2016 rankings,” she said, adding that in the new report, five indicators changed, including dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, enforcing contracts, registering property and trading across borders.
Banda said, as a result of the expansion and changes to the methodology, many economies including Malawi changed in their global ranking published last year.
The changes in methodology introduced this year and last year, according to World Bank are geared towards broadening the use of data by policymakers and researchers.
While the report says more than 60 percent of world’s economies have improved their business rules in the past year, regionally sub-Saharan African economies are among world’s top improvers of business climate.
Said Rita Ramalho, manager of the DB project for World Bank Group: “Mauritius ranks best in the region, with a global ranking of 32, performing particularly well in the areas of paying taxes and enforcing contracts. In Mauritius, it takes only 152 hours for entrepreneurs to pay taxes, compared to 261 hours globally.
“Rwanda has the next best ranking in the region, with a global ranking of 62. Rwanda also implemented the highest number of reforms in the region, with six reforms carried out in the past year.”
Botswana, with a global ranking of 72, South Africa (73) and Seychelles (95) are also among the better ranked economies in sub-Saharan Africa while Kenya and Uganda experienced significant increases in their rankings with Kenya moving up to 108 this year followed by Uganda, which has moved up to 122.
Ministry of Industry and Trade spokesperson Wiskes Nkombezi yesterday asked for more time to go through the report before responding to the questions.