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The Global Business Climate

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As pointed out by writer Ian Talley, the weak global economy may be producing at least one benefit – it is forcing the adoption of economic reforms in some of the worst places in the world in which to conduct business.  The World Bank ranks 190 economies around the world in terms of their business climate.

There are a host of indicators used to produce these rankings, including the quality of contract enforcement and tax compliance. Although many nations in sub-Saharan Africa are still counted as among the most difficult places in which to operate a business, the region has experienced some of the strongest improvement over the last several years.

Nations like Kenya, Malawi, Niger, and the Gambia have recorded some of the largest ranking gains.  Beyond sub-Saharan Africa, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Indonesia have also registered strong gains in the coved Doing Business ranking. The best place in the world in which to do business according to the report is New Zealand followed by Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong and South Korea.  Nations like Iran, Pakistan, Haiti and Egypt suffered in the rankings because of economic discrimination against women. The U.S. ranks eighth, just ahead of Sweden, but behind Norway and the U.K.  

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.