The Caribbean continues to trail its global counterparts in the Ease of Doing Business report as no regional economy cracked the upper tier of the list released by the World Bank today.
Jamaica, the best-ranked country in the region, placed 71st out of 190 economies, despite showing an improvement of four spots over the previous year’s performance. Of note is that the country ranked sixth in one of the key indicators, ‘Starting a Business’, with a score of 97.4 out of a possible 100.
The best performing Caribbean countries either saw their positions unchanged or decline. Closing out the top five in the region were: St Lucia (93, stationary), Trinidad and Tobago (105, also stationary), Dominica (111, down eight spots) and Antigua and Barbuda (113, down one spot).
“Burdensome rules may drive businesses away from the oversight of regulators and tax collectors into the shadows of the informal sector or out of the country in search of a more supportive business environment.”— The World Bank
“A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm”, said the World Bank. “The rankings are determined by sorting the aggregate scores on 10 topics, each consisting of several indicators, giving equal weight to each topic.”
Other factors considered are: dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading borders and enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
The Ease of Doing Business Report, now in its 17th year, looks at required governmental procedures that affect a business throughout its lifetime.
“Burdensome rules may drive businesses away from the oversight of regulators and tax collectors into the shadows of the informal sector or out of the country in search of a more supportive business environment. Foreign investors may shun economies where rules prevent economic activity from flourishing, ” the organisation said.
One highlight of the report is the notably improved performances of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, China and India (which jumped 37 places in the past two years) which implemented significant regulatory reforms under the review period May 2018 to May 2019.
The top ten economies were: New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Denmark, Korea, the United States, Georgia, the United Kingston, Norway, and Sweden. Interestingly, several of these also placed in the top ten in the list of the world’s most reputable countries