Mexico dropped six places to 60th in the latest edition of a World Bank report that measures the ease of doing business in 190 countries.
The Doing Business report awards each country a score out of 10 in 10 different areas: starting a business; dealing with construction permits; getting electricity; registering property; getting credit; protecting minority investors; paying taxes; trading across borders; enforcing contracts; and resolving insolvency.
Mexico’s score of 72.4 is slightly better than the 72.09 it obtained last year but couldn’t prevent the country from taking a tumble in the rankings.
Mexico’s ranking only improved in one area – protecting minority investors (up to 61st from 72nd) – and held steady in two others: enforcing contracts (43rd) and dealing with construction permits (93rd).
The country’s ranking went backwards in the other seven areas. It is no longer among the top 10 countries in any of the areas, dropping three places in “getting credit” to 11th.
Mexico has fallen 15 places in the Doing Business rankings since 2016 and this year lost the top spot in Latin America to Chile, which ranked 59th.
Speaking at his regular news conference on Thursday, President López Obrador was incredulous that Chile – where protests have virtually paralyzed the country in recent days – has surpassed Mexico as the easiest place to do business in Latin America.
“Yesterday, something to do with the World Bank came out about Mexico’s [business] rating and, listen to this, Mexico supposedly occupied first place [in Latin America] for foreign investment confidence but now we’ve fallen to second place,” he said.
“And who do you think now occupies first place?” the president, with a wry grin on his face, asked reporters. “Chile, so they’re not infallible.”
New Zealand took out the top spot in this year’s Doing Business rankings with a score of 86.8. Singapore was second followed by Hong Kong, Denmark, South Korea, the United States, Georgia, the United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden.
Somalia is the hardest country in which to do business, followed by Eritrea, Venezuela, Yemen and Libya.