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World Bank Applauded for Discontinuing Doing Business Report – In the Interest of Trust and Integrity

Eswatini Daily News
05 October 2021

The World Bank Group has issued a statement advising that the “World Bank Group management has taken the decision to discontinue the Doing Business report.”

This decision follows extensive investigations and audit of the evaluation methodology after a number of countries expressed dissatisfaction about the rating criteria. The decision of the World Bank is applauded and shows integrity of the institution and willingness to listen to concerns of stakeholders.

Rating agencies are not regulated as a result their reports are often received with mixed feelings by stakeholders. Most developing countries often feel a sense of hidden bias on the part of rating agencies. They are usually given no room to question the methodology and findings. The only option is to comply or face the consequences. The rating agencies have the upper hand because the reports are used to determine the flow of aid and funds to developing countries. According to Sarah Bush, an assistant professor of political science at Temple University “the most influential ratings often are powerful precisely because they reflect the value judgments of the powerful.” We hope that the stance taken by the World bank will influence other rating agencies to address concerns of integrity and bias by weaker states.

The statement issued by the World Bank says “Trust in the research of the World Bank Group is vital. World Bank Group research informs the actions of policymakers, helps countries make better-informed decisions, and allows stakeholders to measure economic and social improvements more accurately.”

The Kingdom of Eswatini embarked on a number of programs to improve the ease of doing business focusing on indicators where the country was ranked low in the Doing Business Report. These indicators include Enforcing Contracts, protecting minority investors, getting electricity and starting a new business. It is expected that the ease of doing business programs will continue because they are imbedded in the Government Strategic Road Map.

Featured image sourced from the Internet

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