A Discussion: The World Bank & IFC’s Recent Doing Business 2013 Report

Join the American Bar Association Section of International Law for a discussion with the World Bank on the recent World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) flagship report: Doing Business. The panelists will discuss what the reports measure; the Doing Business indicators; what is new in this year’s latest report; which regions have the most business-friendly environment; and which economies are showing the most improvements. Special Counsel from Hughes, Hubbard & Reed, LLP will share how the make use of the report to inform their daily business.


  • Mr. Michael Silverman, Special Counsel, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, LLP (former Integrity Compliance Officer at the World Bank Group and various senior legal positions at IFC, MIGA and Bank Guarantees)
  • Ms. Melanie Frank, International Trade Counsel, Hughes, Hubbard & Reed, LLP (former Global Trade Counsel, Google Inc. and former Director, Worldwide Customs, Mattel, Inc.)
  • Mr. Santiago Croci Downes, Private Sector Development Specialist, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank and IFC
  • Mr. Fernando Dancausa Diaz, Operations Analyst, Financial and Private Sector Development, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank and IFC

On October 23, 2012, the World Bank and IFC launched the Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises report. Doing Business, an annual publication that measures business regulatory reforms in 185 economies, relies on pro-bono contributions of legal professionals to update the data annually; accordingly, Doing Business looked to expand their network of legal contributors by reaching out to members of American Bar Association Section of International Law and its International Legal Resource Center to participate in research surveys for this project. Contributors and their firms are acknowledged at the end of the report and on the Doing Business website.

The report is considered one of the most high-profile publications produced by the World Bank Group (over 5 million site visits per year). Doing Business also serves as a knowledge resource for academics, journalists, private sector and others interested in the business climate of each country. The report team seeks experts in eight legal areas: starting a business; (corporate law); employing workers (employment law); registering property (real estate law); getting credit (collateral law); protecting investors (corporate law); enforcing contracts (commercial litigation); resolving insolvency (bankruptcy); and paying taxes (tax and accounting law). The 2013 report marks the 10th Edition of the Doing Business series. Over the past decade, these reports have recorded nearly 2,000 regulatory reforms implemented by 180 economies.

The reforms have yielded major benefits for local entrepreneurs across the globe. For example:

  • Since 2005, the average time to start a business has fallen from 50 days to 30—and in low-income economies the average has been reduced by half.
  • In the past eight years, the average time to transfer property fell by 35 days, from 90 to 55, and the average cost by 1.2 percentage points—from 7.1 percent of the property value to 5.9 percent.
  • In the past eight years, improvements to simplify tax compliance have reduced the time required annually to comply with the three major taxes measured (profit, labor, and consumption taxes) by 54 hours on average.
  • In the past year alone, 108 economies implemented 201 regulatory reforms that made it easier for local entrepreneurs to do business.
  • Singaporetopped the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the seventh consecutive year. Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulation were Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Norway; the United Kingdom; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; and Australia.

Topping the list of economies that registered the biggest improvements in the ease of doing business over the last year were Poland, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Burundi, Costa Rica, Mongolia, Greece, Serbia and Kazakhstan.

For more information, please visit the website.