Comparisons between India and China are a dime a dozen. But how about this one: India and Rwanda?
The latest edition of the annual Doing Business report from the World Bank Group has crowned the tiny African nation, which was torn apart in a genocidal civil war, as the top reformer of the year.
Reforms in this context do not mean grand changes in macroeconomic policy, but concern brass tacks stuff that matter to entrepreneurs: the ease with which a business can be started, how much time does it take to register property, can workers be hired and fired, are property rights protected?
Rwanda was at the bottom of the heap for 2009: It had a ranking of 143 among 183 countries. India (132) and China (86) were ahead of it.
The latest ranking—for 2010—shows a sea change. Rwanda has jumped 76 places; it is now at 67, ahead of India (133) and China (89).
India and China have more potential than Rwanda, but that little country has shown radical reforms can be pulled off even in a weak political system.