4 Nov 2014

World Bank rankings for Pacific "absurd"

11:25 am on 4 November 2014

A Pacific civil society group says a ranking system by the World Bank is an absurd contest which puts pressure on small island states.

The Pacific Network on Globalisation, or PANG, says the bank's 2015 Doing Business rankings are sending out the wrong message.

The World Bank has praised Palau, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu for reforms which encourage business growth.

But PANG's co-ordinator Maureen Penjueli says the rankings focus on being pro-business without any regard for the real costs in terms of social, environmental, cultural or human rights.

She says the rankings act to pressure small islands states in the Pacific to implement the reforms enacted by major industrial economies.

Ms Penjueli says the region's traditions like custom control of land do not fit the ranking system.

She says it is not for the World Bank to tell Pacific Islanders that becoming like the major economies is what is best for them.