Ease of doing business: India is 93rd on Forbes' list

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Dec 19, 2014 23:27 IST

Business publication Forbes has ranked India 93rd on its list of Best Countries for Business for 2014, but noted that "investors' perception" has started to improve this year.

Denmark tops the list, followed by Hong Kong. The world's largest economies saw mixed results - US, France and China fell, while Japan and Germany gained.

India's position at 93 shouldn't surprise anyone. It is at No. 142 on World Bank's ease of business list. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to bring it into the top 50 by the end of 2016.

While Modi works on this plan, other reports and lists have noted an improvement, such as Forbes. Credit rating agency, Standard & Poors recently called India the only bright spot in Asia-Pacific region.

However, all reports agree that challenges remain - a high level of domestic debt being one, according to S&P.

Forbes has rolled out its own list of reasons, which starts with "traces of its (India's) past autarkic policies", and goes on to poverty, corruption, energy deficit, transportation and judicial backlog among others - a long list of familiar problems.

But, noted Forbes, "investors' perceptions of India improved in early 2014, due to a reduction of the current account deficit and expectations of post-election economic reform, resulting in a surge of inbound capital flows and stabilisation of the rupee".

It said India's growth in 2013 fell to a decade low as its economic leaders "struggled" to improve the country's wide fiscal and current account deficits.

India ranked 122 on the trade freedom index, 135 in monetary freedom, 120 in technology, 122 in tax burden and 128 in red tape. It fared well on market performance index, ranking third, and 7th on investor protection. It ranked 78th on corruption and 55 on property rights.

Incidentally, Pakistan was ranked 105.

Modi's attempts to bring investors are being recognised elsewhere also. As one US senator after another did, at a recent Capitol Hill hearing.

And the US trade representative ended its out-of-cycle review of India's trade and patent policies last week noting "useful commitments" given by New Delhi in recent months.


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