The World Bank Group on Thursday confirmed that it will be discontinuing ‘Doing Business’ reports.
It also added that it will work on new approach to assessing business and investment climate in countries.
The irregularities had affected four countries: China; Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates; and Azerbaijan. According to the initial Doing Business 2018 report, China had a score of 65.3 with a global ranking of 78, similar to the previous year’s. After the corrections in data for indicators like Starting a Business, Getting Credit, and Paying Taxes indicators, China’s score fell to 64.5 and global ranking to 85.
In a statement, the World Bank said that after the irregularities raised ethical matters involving former bank staff and board officials, the development lender will work on a new approach to assessing countries’ business and investment climates.
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“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. Such research has also been a valuable tool for the private sector, civil society, academia, journalists, and others, broadening understanding of global issues.
After data irregularities on Doing Business 2018 and 2020 were reported internally in June 2020, World Bank management paused the next Doing Business report and initiated a series of reviews and audits of the report and its methodology. In addition, because the internal reports raised ethical matters, including the conduct of former Board officials as well as current and/or former Bank staff, management reported the allegations to the Bank’s appropriate internal accountability mechanisms.
After reviewing all the information available to date on Doing Business, including the findings of past reviews, audits, and the report the Bank released today on behalf of the Board of Executive Directors, World Bank Group management has taken the decision to discontinue the Doing Business report. The World Bank Group remains firmly committed to advancing the role of the private sector in development and providing support to governments to design the regulatory environment that supports this. Going forward, we will be working on a new approach to assessing the business and investment climate. We are deeply grateful to the efforts of the many staff members who have worked diligently to advance the business climate agenda, and we look forward to harnessing their energies and abilities in new ways.”