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Barbados fifth in ease of business


Barbados fifth in ease of business

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BARBADOS IS RANKED FIFTH among 12 Caribbean economies by the World Bank Group on the ease of doing business with a score of 119, slipping by three points from 2015 but maintaining its place.

Doing Business 2016: Measuring Regulatory Quality And Efficiency noted that Caribbean economies have an average ranking on the ease of doing business of 108, and puts Barbados behind Jamaica (at 64 in the global ranking), followed by St Lucia (77) and Trinidad and Tobago (88).

Other large economies in the region and their rankings are: The Bahamas (106), and the Dominican Repubic (93). The economies with the region’s lowest rankings are Haiti (182), Grenada (135), and St Kitts and Nevis (124).

The World Bank said the region’s economies performed well on average in the area of getting electricity, with an average ranking of 76.

“In fact, connecting to the grid takes less time on average for an entrepreneur in the Caribbean than for one in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s high-income economies.”

However, the bank said there was room for improvement in the area of registering property, where the region’s economies have an average ranking of 142.

For example, registering property in the Caribbean costs nine per cent of the property value on average – higher than the average in any other region.

Overall, the bank found more than 60 per cent of the world’s economies improving their business rules in the past year. It noted that developing economies quickened the pace of their business reforms during the last 12 months to make it easier for local businesses to start and operate.

According to the bank, 85 developing economies implemented 169 business reforms during the past year, compared with 154 reforms the previous year. High-income economies carried out an additional 62 reforms, bringing the total for the past year to 231 reforms in 122 economies around the world.

The majority of the new reforms during the past year were designed to improve the efficiency of regulations, by reducing their cost and complexity, with the largest number of improvements made in the area of starting business, which measures how long it takes to obtain a permit for starting a business and its associated processing costs.

A total of 45 economies, 33 of which were developing economies, undertook reforms to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business. India, for example, made significant improvements by eliminating the minimum capital requirement and a business operations certificate, saving entrepreneurs an unnecessary procedure and five days’ wait time.

Kenya also made business incorporation easier by simplifying pre-registration procedures, reducing the time to incorporate by four days.

Efforts to strengthen legal institutions and frameworks were less common, with 66 reforms implemented in 53 economies during the past year. The largest number of such reforms were carried out in the area of getting credit, with 32 improvements, of which nearly half were undertaken in Sub-Saharan Africa. (AB)