Russell Bedford firms contribute to World Bank Doing Business report 2018

November 2017

Russell Bedford International member firms have, for the ninth consecutive year, assisted the World Bank in researching its annual Doing Business project, contributing data on tax regulation, recent reforms, and the real costs of tax compliance worldwide. The report, Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs (which can be downloaded HERE), again highlights the performance of emerging economies, while solid performances from the UK and USA offset concerns regarding the impacts of increasing protectionism worldwide.

This latest report shows no change on last year's top-performing countries, with New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark again taking the top three slots. The former Soviet Republic of Georgia is a surprise new entrant to the top 10, up seven places to ninth place, ahead of Sweden. India (the report's single best performer, rising 30 places to just make it into the top 100) again highlights consistent improvements throughout emerging markets, although Russia -in 35th place beating several EU economies, including Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg - has given rise to some controversy concerning the report's methodology. Among high-income OECD economies, consistent performances from the USA and the UK (at sixth and seventh, respectively) have done much to offset concerns of increasing protectionism on both sides of the Atlantic.

The report's Paying Taxes survey this year shows some remarkable improvements in individual countries' regulatory regimes - again revealing a preponderance among emerging markets, with El Salvador, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Angola and India showing exponential improvements, up 105, 81, 60, 54 and 53 places, respectively. Italy shows the best performance of OECD high income economies, moving from 126 to 112, while the United Kingdom, conversely, shows its worst performance in recent years, down 13 places from 10 to 23.

Stephen Hamlet, CEO, Russell Bedford International, commented: "While the performances of individual countries this year do raise questions regarding methodology, the World Bank Doing Business report remains one of the most consistent barometers of the regulatory burden on businesses and entrepreneurs worldwide - and an initiative we are proud to support."

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