India shot up in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking this year, marking a consistent rise in its performance in the last 4 years. The Government introduced a new initiative to keep the momentum going. India’s was also recognized as the second fastest innovater among major Asian countries. However, Moody’s dampened spirits by predicting a slower economic growth due to concerns about its financial sector.

World Bank Doing BusinessDoing Business 2019: Training for Reform, a World Bank Group flagship publication, is the 16th in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies. India figured among the top 10 improvers in this year’s report based on reforms undertaken. With six reforms, India is in the top 10 list for a second consecutive year. India continued its reform agenda, implementing six reforms in the past year and advancing 23 spots to 77th place in the global ranking. India’s profile and detailed performance can be found here: http://www.doingbusiness.org/content/dam/doingBusiness/country/i/india/IND.pdf Last year too India had jumped 3o spots to reach 100th place in the rankings (as reported by Asia Law Portal).

Ease of Doing Business Grand Challenge – Taking a cue from India’s striking jump in the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings, the Prime Minister of India has now launched a Grand Challenge on resolving seven identified Ease of Doing Business problems with the use of cutting edge technologies. The objective of this challenge is to tap the potential of young Indians, startups and other private enterprises to provide solutions to complex problems using current technology. The Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, interacted with select Chief Executive Officers from Indian & foreign companies and apprised them of the efforts being made by the Government to ensure that India consistently improves its business environment. The Prime Minister reiterated his resolve to make India one of the easiest places to conduct business in the world. Mr. Hartwig Schafer, Vice President, South Asia of the World Bank Group, also addressed the gathering and appreciated the enormity of India’s achievement. He also stressed that it gets tougher to improve ranks as a country moves higher up in the ranking and expressed his belief that India will continue to maintain the momentum it has gained over the last four years in its efforts in improving Ease of Doing Business.

Moody’s Slower Growth Prediction – Indian economy will expand 7.4 per cent in 2018, but the growth will slow down to 7.3 per cent in the next year as domestic demand tapers on higher borrowing cost due to rising interest rates, Moody’s Investors Service said recently. In its report titled Global Macro Outlook 2019-20′, Moody’s said the Indian economy grew 7.9 per cent in the first half (January-June) of 2018, which reflects post demonetisation base effect. Stating that borrowing costs have already increased on higher interest rates, Moody’s said it expects the Reserve Bank of India will continue to steadily raise the benchmark rate through 2019, which will further dampen domestic demand. These factors will limit the pace of the Indian economy’s growth over the next few years, with real GDP growth of 7.3 per cent in 2019 and 2020, from around 7.4 per cent in 2018, Moody’s said. It said the greatest downside risk to India’s growth prospects stem from concerns about its financial sector.

India’s innovation leapWith patent publication nearly doubling in a decade, India is now the second fastest growing innovator after China among major Asian countries. India is fourth among the major Asian countries in terms of overall patent publication volume, and second in terms of growth rate, said the “India Innovation Report” by Philadelphia-headquartered Clarivate Analytics, a global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics. The analysis based on patent data from Derwent Innovation, a proprietary patent research application that provides access to globally trusted, curated patent intelligence and scientific literature, shows India exhibiting significant innovation growth with a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.8% in patenting activity over the last five years, 2nd only to China amongst the top Asian countries. The number of priority Indian patents published in India has nearly doubled in the last ten years. From 2012 to 2017, patent publications have grown an average rate of 10.8%, aided by increased intellectual property (IP) awareness across sectors. In addition, Indian businesses are demonstrating global influence as innovations originating in India are increasingly being filed in multiple global jurisdictions.

Posted by Sourish Mohan Mitra

Sourish Mohan Mitra is an India-qualified lawyer from Symbiosis Law School, Pune and currently working as an in-house counsel with a global research firm in Delhi, India; views expressed are personal; he can be reached at sourish24x7@gmail.com; Twitter: @sourish247

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