US dollar comparisons

Economic output measures are reflected in US dollar terms to permit easy comparison between countries. Given the dollar’s weakening trend, the data included in the FactFile may differ considerably from up-to-date figures. However, because the data reflects a point-in-time measure, all comparisons between countries remain relevant.

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Gross national income (GNI)

The GNI of a country is the total value of all goods and services produced in that country in one year. For purposes of comparison, figures in the FactFile are reflected in current US dollar terms, with the data year included. Data is sourced from the World Bank. GNI and gross national product are the same measures.

GNI on a purchasing price parity basis (PPP GNI)

Purchasing price parity reflects the relative purchasing power of a currency. The figure included in the FactFile reflects the US dollar purchasing power equivalent.

United Nations Human Development Index

The UN Human Development Index is a summary composite index that measures a country’s average achievements in three basic aspects of human development: longevity, knowledge and a decent standard of living. Longevity is measured by life expectancy at birth; knowledge is measured by a combination of the adult literacy rate and the combined primary, secondary and tertiary gross enrolment ratio; and standard of living by GDP per capita (PPP US$). The figure in the FactFile is a ranking out of 177 countries analysed.

World Economic Forum Growth Competitiveness Index

The Growth Competitiveness Index analyses the potential of the world’s economies to attain sustained economic growth over the medium and long term. The index is founded on three central components: the macroeconomic environment, the quality of public institutions and technology. The figure in the FactFile is a ranking out of 104 countries analysed.

World Economic Forum Business Competitiveness ranking

The Business Competitiveness Index identifies the factors that underpin current productivity and, hence, current economic performance measured by the level of gross domestic product per person. It reflects microeconomic fundamentals, focusing on company sophistication and the quality of the business environment. The figure in the FactFile is a ranking out of 103 countries analysed.

Transparency International Corruption Perceptions ranking

The Corruption Perceptions Index is a poll of polls, reflecting the perceptions of business people and country analysts, both resident and non-resident. Analysis of 145 countries was done for the 2004 ranking.

World Bank Doing Business 2005

The Doing Business database provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement. The Doing Business indicators are comparable across 145 economies, reflecting the regulatory costs of business, and can be used to analyse specific regulations that enhance or constrain investment, productivity and growth.

Starting a business: The Doing Business survey examines the start-up of commercial or industrial firms with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy’s per-capita GNI. It counts all procedures (defined as a legal requirement that involves a separate interaction between the firm and an outside entity – officials, notaries, etc.) required to register a firm.

Hiring and firing workers: To assess how flexible the labour laws are to meet the needs of the market, Doing Business measures how difficult it is to hire a new worker, how rigid the restrictions are on expanding/contracting the number of working hours, and how difficult and costly it is to dismiss a redundant worker.

Registering property: Doing Business measures the ease of registering property, assuming a standardised case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and buildings in the largest business city – already registered and free of title dispute.

Enforcing contracts: To measure the differences in contract enforcement, Doing Business follows the step-by-step evolution of a payment dispute. It counts the number of procedures from the moment the plaintiff files the lawsuit in court until the moment of actual payment; the associated time, in calendar days; and the associated cost, in court fees, attorney fees and other payments to accountants, assessors, etc.

Sources

The country overview was written by fDi based on publicly available material and information.

Data sources include the World Bank’s World Development Indicators 2004 and Doing Business 2005; Unctad’s World Investment Report 2004;

the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2004-05;

the United Nations’ Human Development Report 2004; Bloomberg; and

the CIA’s The World Factbook. OCO Consulting supplied FDI data.