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This paper provides an assessment of how the current global financial and economic crisis will affect the global business environment in the medium term, as seen through the prism of the Economist Intelligence Unit's Business Environment Rankings (BER) model. Until recently, it was expected that business environments around the world would continue to improve, reflecting the apparently relentless "Forward march of globalisation". Now, however, for the first time since the BER were introduced in 1996, the average business environment score for the 82 countries covered by the model is lower for the five-year forecast period (now 2009-13) than for the historical period (2004-08). More than half the countries (44 in all) are expected to have a worse overall business environment in 2009-13 than they had in 2004-08.
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