According to Doing Business 2013, the annual report from the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation,), Russia has moved up eight positions to 112th, from 120th last year (out of 185), and is now between Palau (111th place) and Salvador (113th place).
The biggest progress was in ‘paying taxes’, where Russia surged from 105th to 64th, reflecting easier VAT payments, electronic services development and overall improvements. There was some improvement in other components (‘starting a business’, ‘resolving insolvency’, ‘enforcing contracts’) but nothing that notable. On the negative side, Russia edged down one notch to the penultimate 184th place in the ‘getting electricity’ component.
Russia is on the way to improving its standing in the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings: the roadmaps are being prepared now, with active implementation to start next year. We expect the greatest progress to be achieved in 2014. The business climate is crucial for raising the ‘investment to GDP’ ratio (to recap, according to President Vladimir Putin’s decree, Russia must increase the investments to GDP ratio from 20% at present to 25% in 2015 and 27% in 2018).
However, while the advance of eight positions is a welcome development, if the 50th position coveted for 2015 (and 20th for 2018) are to be attained, the pace of the advance will have to accelerate in the coming years. The government's ability to execute the policy initiatives embedded in the roadmaps structured exactly along the lines of Doing Business rankings will be the decisive factor.