The World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business report is in the news again. This time for being stopped altogether after an investigation by an external Washington-based law firm showed that the Bank’s staff members had changed data in the 2018 and 2020 editions of the report on China to improve its ranking in the pecking order of countries. This, the investigation suggests, was done under pressure from the office of the then World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, the chief executive Kristalina Georgieva and one of her colleagues. Georgieva is now the managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Country rankings of Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE may also have been influenced, according to the findings.
The other piece of news is that after operating in India for 25 years, Ford Motor Company has announced that it is going to stop producing cars in India. General Motors and Harley-Davidson similarly closed factories in India earlier. General Motors left at the end of 2017, bringing to close its presence of two decades. The iconic brand Harley-Davidson stopped its assembly operations in 2020 after the Donald Trump administration had limited success in its efforts to persuade India to cut its import duties on imported motorcycles.
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