Maplecroft’s 2014 Legal and Regulatory Environment Risk Atlas has identified Myanmar as the country making the greatest improvements to its business environment over 2013. Senegal, Guatemala, Mozambique and Rwanda, meanwhile, are among the countries with best performance over the last five years, according to the global risk analytics company.
The fifth annual Atlas includes 21 risk indices developed to enable companies and investors to monitor the ease of undertaking business in 173 countries. Since 2009, some of the biggest increases in risk have been experienced by foreign investors in Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh and Egypt. According to Maplecroft, the business environment in these countries is being curtailed by factors that include a lack of respect for the rule of law and property rights; weak investor protection; increasing regulatory burdens; and poor governance resulting from instability.
Among the Atlas’s key findings:
- Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is the most improved country during 2013, due to significant reforms to the business environment that address issues such as corruption, rule of law, the regulatory framework, respect for property rights, and corporate governance. The implementation of a new foreign investment law in March 2013 provided much needed clarity around essential issues, such as foreign ownership limits and land leasing rules. If Myanmar sustains its current trajectory it may move out of the ‘extreme risk’ category in the next one to three years.
- Senegal, Guatemala, Mozambique and Rwanda are among the countries with best performance over the past five years. This is primarily due to substantive efforts to improve the legal and regulatory environment and encourage foreign investment. This includes moves to strengthen corporate governance, to reduce regulatory hurdles, to combat corruption and to improve rule of law.
- Since 2009 some of the biggest increases in legal and regulatory risk have been experienced by foreign investors in Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh and Egypt.
- Resource-rich countries make up over 50% of the ‘extreme risk’ category.
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