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Doing Business Internationally

November 8, 2010

The most recent World Bank report on ‘Doing Business’ provides a useful complement to IACCM’s market comparisons of international contracting.

The IACCM study (released in September 2011) focused on the relative ease of doing business between countries, whereas the World Bank explores the barriers to internal business set-up and operations. Therefore the characteristics that form the basis for study are somewhat different, but with interesting overlaps. For example, each report covers the issue of contract enforcement and both reference the underlying regulatory environment.

The news from the World Bank is encouraging, in that it reports a steady improvement in the business environment. Governments are recognizing the fundamental importance of enabling business start-up and operation and many have taken steps to simplify and ensure a benign regulatory regime. Among those highlighted are countries such as Kazakhstan, Hungary and Rwanda. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia remain the most difficult – and therefore most risky – areas in which to do business.

Technology lies at the heart of many improvements.  “New technology underpins regulatory best practice around the world,” said Janamitra Devan, Vice President for Financial and Private Sector Development for the World Bank Group. “Technology makes compliance easier, less costly, and more transparent.” This has included the way that court cases are filed and handled, as well as the automation of business registration, export-import procedures and tax collection.

Top of the list in terms of ‘ease of doing business’ are Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, UK and the United States. This reflects the findings of the IACCM research, although for international trade specifically, the IACCM list gave pride of place to Canada (7th in the World Bank report), with Australia and the Netherlands also faring well.

One Comment
  1. As always, another interesting post Tim.

    At the end of September I gave a keynote in London titled “eWorld Cluster Development & the Globalized Supply Base (2010).”

    One of the key considerations upon which I focused was on the governance of buyer/supplier relationships (re Network, Quasi-Hierarchy, and Hierarchy) per John Humphrey and Hubert Schmitz. This seems to be an area for which many organizations have not yet developed a firm strategy.

    The impact of course can be significant as it establishes the “true” framework for responsibilities of stakeholders. Of course, and as demonstrated by the Tesco- snow pea scandal, in which the reality of the relationship illustrated that there can be a blending of governance principles, the governance types are not cast in stone silos in the real-world.

    Here are the links to the PowerPoints:

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

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