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World Bank Group Convenes Governments to Share Best Practice, Build Expertise on Doing Business Reforms


In Dakar:
Lawrence Henri Mensah
Tel.: +221 78 639 8673
E-mail: Lmensah@ifc.org

In Cairo:
Mohammed Essa
Tel.: +20 101 069 5250
E-mail: mesa@ifc.org  

Dubai, UAE, Monday, 17 December 2019 – The World Bank Group, in partnership with the United Arab Emirates Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) concluded the third annual Doing Business Technical Deep Dive, held from December 10 to December 13, 2019 in Dubai. The Deep Dive is a knowledge sharing platform bringing together World Bank Group experts and leaders from the world’s top reforming economies to discuss good practices around business environment reforms. The theme for this year’s edition was “Global aspiration towards business growth and economic prosperity”. The event hosted more than 400 participants from over 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle-East.

The Technical Deep Dive allows participants to discuss the methodology and indicators of the Doing Business report, share best practice on identifying bottlenecks to private sector development and implementing relevant reforms. The annual event is a strong capacity building and networking platform for business environment reform leaders. This year’s event focused on areas including starting a business, protecting minority investors, dealing with construction permits and enforcing contracts. It also trained participants on how to efficiently communicate about reforms.

Sérgio Pimenta, the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Vice-president for the Middle-East and Africa, said: “The Technical Deep Dive is a unique tool for reform-minded experts to get better at reforming their countries’ business environments so they can attract and retain more private investment. This is critical, especially in the Middle-East and Africa, at a time when private sector plays an essential role in sustaining inclusive growth and development”.

The Doing Business 2020 report, which was launched in October 2019, shows that reform expertise is growing in the Middle East and Africa. Economies in the two regions implemented a record 57 business-friendly reforms and hosted four of the 10 countries that improved the most world-wide in the ease of doing business - Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Sub-Saharan African countries implemented a total of 73 reforms, with Nigeria and Togo making the list of the global top reforming countries while Mauritius ranked as 13th easiest place to do business in the world.

Caroline Freund, the World Bank’s Global Director of Trade, Investment and Competitiveness, said “Despite steady progress on Doing Business indicators over the past 10 years, a lot remains to be done for countries in the Middle East and Africa to narrow the gap with top reforming economies in the world. Initiatives such as the Technical Deep Dive are needed to accelerate and deepen the reform agendas in those regions”.

This year, the World Bank Group has partnered with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority from the United Arab Emirates to deliver the Technical Deep Dive. Ranked at 16th, UAE is the Middle-East’s top performing economy on the Doing Business index, notably in areas such as getting electricity, dealing with construction permits and enforcing contracts, where it respectively ranks first, third and ninth in the world.

The Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level. Launched in 2002, it looks at domestic small and medium-size companies and measures the regulations applying to them through their life cycle.

About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org, www.miga.org, and www.ifc.org.