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Malawi improves on doing business index

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Malawi has registered some improvements on the World Bank Doing Business Index for 2016, moving up from position 164 to 141 out of 189 global economies.

The Doing Business 2016: Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency was released by the Brettonwoods institution in Washington Tuesday.

This is the first time in more than three years for Malawi to register positive movement on the doing business index.

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Malawi registered a score of 51.03 to move 23 places up the doing business ladder.

The positive movement could be an indication that the reforms implemented by Capital over the past years have started bearing fruits.

Over the past 24 to 36 months, government has put in a number of reforms towards improving the ease of doing business such as reducing the number of agents at the borders to facilitate smooth flow of goods, reducing the number of days needed to register a business as well as improving the handling of business related cases.

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Trade Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha described the development as a step in the right direction, saying it is government’s wish to break into the top 100 of the best countries in as far as easiness of doing business is concerned.

According to the World Bank, developing economies quickened the pace of their business reforms during the last 12 months to make it easier for local businesses to start and operate.

The report finds that 85 developing economies implemented 169 business reforms during the past year, compared with 154 reforms the previous year.

High-income economies, according to the report, carried out an additional 62 reforms, bringing the total for the past year to 231 reforms in 122 economies around the world.

The World Bank says the majority of the new reforms during the past year were designed to improve the efficiency of regulations, by reducing their cost and complexity, with the largest number of improvements made in the area of Starting a Business, which measures how long it takes to obtain a permit for starting a business and its associated processing costs.

It further said a total of 45 economies, 33 of which were developing economies, undertook reforms to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business.

World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Kaushik Basu said a modern economy cannot function without regulation adding that at the same time, it can be brought to a standstill through poor and cumbersome regulation.

“The challenge of development is to tread this narrow path by identifying regulations that are good and necessary, and shunning ones that thwart creativity and hamper the functioning of small and medium enterprises.

“The World Bank Group’s Doing Business report tracks the regulatory and bureaucratic systems of nations by conducting detailed annual surveys. For policymakers faced with the challenge of creating jobs and promoting development, it is well worth studying how nations fare in terms of the various Doing Business indicators,” said Basu.

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