Maxim Oreshkin: Reforms Helped Russia Improve Business Conditions


Russia has ranked the 35th in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings for 2018 having improved its standing by 5 points year-on-year. The ‘distance to best practices’ indicator shows a significant increase after scaling back last year.

"Russia has got its record highest spot in the World Bank's rankings, whose experts noted a significant acceleration of reforms in our country. We have jumped 20 to 40 positions in some indicators," said Maxim Oreshkin, Russian Minister of Economic Development. - It is important to understand that there is now a serious competitive struggle for each position and it was relatively easier to climb from the 100th spot to some 50th."

For the third consecutive year, Russia is ahead of the BRICS countries and the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in the rankings, with France, Holland, Switzerland and Japan being Russia's closest competitors.

 "We have demonstrated the best dynamics among all the countries covered by the rankings over the last six years," Maxim Oreshkin emphasized reminding that Russia ranked 120th in 2011.

Russia is now among the top ten countries by electrical grid connection and in the top thirty in terms of property registration, contract execution, business registration and lending.

At the same time, there are still areas where Russia is placed unacceptably low, including in "obtaining a building permit" and "international trade". However, it is worth noting that Russia has jumped 40 positions in the "international trade" indicator.

Maxim Oreshkin noted that improving the investment climate in Russia remains one of the key tasks for the Russian Government. "Simplicity and low costs of doing business are a prerequisite for the active growth of private investment. The placement in the rankings is not an end in itself. The main thing is rather to achieve active growth of SMB investment activities country-wide," the head of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development added.

While talking about plans for the next year, the Minister has highlighted four key goals: (1) introduction of best practices at the regional level to improve the investment climate; (2) forging breakthrough procedures based on new generation digital technologies, primarily, in the realms where we are lagging behind (e.g., in construction); (3) implementation of the control and supervision reform; and (4) shifting the emphasis to creating conditions for human development as a key factor of competitiveness in the 21st century.

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Business conditions are evaluated by 10 indicators. Russia ranked among top 55 countries in 8 out of 10 indicators, with its results improved year-to-year in four of them such as the "international trade", "electricity connection", "lending" and "protection of minority shareholders" indicators. 

In terms of "electricity connection", Russia has climbed from the 30th to the 10th spot leading both in connection reliability, timing, and in the number of procedures. Compared with last year, it now takes 80 days vs. 150 in Moscow and 90 days vs. 185 in St. Petersburg to connect a facility model to the electrical grid.

Results have significantly improved in the "international trade" area, where Russia has risen 40 positions. This became possible due to the measures taken to optimize customs procedures such as reducing timing and costs of passing goods during export and import.

The positive dynamics also continues in the "lending". Russia has improved its performance by 15 positions upwards the 29th spot. Thanks to enhanced single notary information system, it is now possible to send electronic notices on pledges over movable property, bypassing the Federal Notary Chamber as an authorized operator.