The World Bank's Doing Business "provides objective measures of
business regulations for local firms in 185 economies and selected
cities at the sub-national level". The report
was first published in 2003. It first utilized five sets of
indicators to measure business regulation in 133 economies but has
grown to cover 11 sets of indicators in 185 economies.
According to the report Poland has improved the most over the
past year moving from 74th to 55th place. The World Bank
credits four reforms for helping Poland improve in the rankings:
easier property registration, pay taxes, enforce contracts and
The report also noted that countries in Eastern Europe and
Central Asia again represented the largest share of economies
implementing regulatory reforms. More than 88% of the
economies in these regions implemented reforms in at least one of
the categories measured by the Doing Business report.
Other countries that performed well include Ukraine which gained
15 spots, Mongolia moved up 12, Kazakhstan improved by
seven places and Russia which moved up six. Countries that
did not fare as well include Hungary which dropped five places and
Bulgaria which was down two.
Among Asian countries China held steady in 91st place.
India maintained its position at 132. Pakistan dropped
three spots and Bangladesh lost five. Malaysia ascended to 12th
place, gaining two. Indonesia gained two places, the
Philippines lost two places and Thailand lost one.
Latin American countries did fairly poorly in the rankings with
the big BRIC Brazil dropping two places. Argentina fell eight
places, Chile lost four spots and Colombia and Venezuela each fell
Being of Polish descent I naturally have a fondness for the
country. I am pleased to see it doing well and am optimistic
for its future. For investors interested in Poland there are
a couple of ETFs to consider:
the Market Vectors Poland ETF (PLND, quote ) and
the iShares MSCI Poland Investable ETF (EPOL, quote
). Both ETFs have been doing well recently.
Since June of 2012 both ETFs have surged between 20 and 25%.
This is a welcome improvement and hopefully the realization
of the business climate reflected in the World Banks's report.
But neither ETF have done that well over the past few
Both charts illustrate a volatile and negatively trending
experience for investors. Of course there is a lot of
influence from western Europe and the general economic malaise of
the past few years.
Poland is an emerging market which is often overlooked.
But it is also a country making strides to differentiate
itself. Continued reforms and notable strides like its
showing in the World Banks Doing Business report will bring more
investment dollars to the country. This of course will be
good for ETFs and savvy emerging market investors as well.