West Bank and Gaza Jump 26 Places in World Bank “Doing Business” 2018 Rankings

November 01, 2017

The economy of the West Bank and Gaza moved up 26 places in the World Bank Doing Business report for 2018, from 140th to 114th in the annual ranking of 190 economies. The West Bank and Gaza’s overall score—an average of 10 indicators that measure ease of doing business—increased from 54.88 to 58.68 on a scale of 1 to 100, the ninth-largest year-over-year improvement among the 190 economies measured.

The territories’ exceptional performance was facilitated in part by the Palestinian Market Development Programme (PMDP), which assists the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy specifically in its efforts to improve West Bank and Gaza’s Doing Business ranking. PMDP is funded by the U.K. Department for International Development and the European Commission, and implemented by DAI.

Abeer-Odeh.jpg The West Bank and Gaza upgrade was led by significant improvements in the “Getting Credit” indicator, where the West Bank and Gaza leaped from 118th to 20th place, the greatest improvement in this indicator worldwide. The World Bank noted that the West Bank and Gaza strengthened access to credit by introducing a Law for Secured Transactions and by setting up a new collateral registry for movable assets. The new law implements a secured transactions system that allows more functional descriptions of assets, debts, and obligations. The collateral registry is now operational, unified geographically, and searchable by a debtor’s unique identifier. The new law also gives priority to secured creditors outside insolvency procedures and allows out-of-court restructuring as a debt-enforcement option.

“[We] have been working on implementing reforms aimed at improving Palestine ranking in the World Bank Doing Business report, aspiring to attract more investments to Palestine. It is noteworthy that Palestine scored the highest change in ranking in the [Middle East and North Africa] region, advancing 26 places this year.” — H.E Abeer Odeh, above, Minister of National Economy, Palestinian Authority   

The PMDP team supported the ministry in analyzing West Bank and Gaza’s status in each of the 10 indicators and identifying potential areas for reform. This effort produced a comprehensive action plan that identified short-, medium- and long-term reforms needed to improve the ranking. The action plan was presented to the Cabinet of Ministers and adopted by a ministerial committee set up to execute the action plan. Specialized technical committees are working to advance the proposed reforms.

For the “Getting Credit” indicator, PMDP’s team supported the ministry by ensuring that the legal framework for the Law for Secured Transactions was complete and the collateral registry fully functional. Notably, PMDP engaged with the financial sector to raise awareness and promote the use of the registry, which was essential in driving the reform.

In a continuing effort to improve future rankings, PMDP is collaborating with the World Bank to advance additional reforms in the West Bank and Gaza in areas such as business licensing and construction permits.

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