Guyana gets kudos for ‘Doing Business’ reforms

Guyana ranked 100 out of 183 economies surveyed in this year’s Doing Business report, done under the auspices of the World Bank, and was congratulated for three reforms

The country moved up by one position from its ranking of 101 last year and was lauded by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) for implementing three new reforms in the past year which improved the business environment.

According to the country report, “Guyana made starting a business easier by digitizing company records, which speeds the process of searching company names and reserving a name.

Access to credit was enhanced by the establishment of a regulatory framework that allows the licensing of private credit bureaus and which gives borrowers the right to inspect their data.  Improvements to Guyana’s risk profiling system for customs inspection reduced physical inspections of shipments and sped up trade, the report said too.

Guyana’s ranks for the other business indicators this year were:  starting a business (90), dealing with construction permits (33), registering property (75), getting credit (152), protecting investors (74), paying taxes (119), trading across borders (78), enforcing contracts (74) and closing a business (130).   The only category which Guyana improved in from its position last year was the category of dealing with construction permits where it moved up five points from the rank of (38).

Other reformers in the Caribbean included Grenada, Jamaica and Haiti. Grenada, the report said, was among the global leaders in improving business regulations for firms in that country.

According to the report, business start-up was eased by transferring responsibility for its commercial registry from the courts to the civil administration; reducing by close to 50 percent the time needed to transfer property and improved customs administration.

Jamaica, the report said, “eased the transfer of property by lowering transfer taxes and fees, offering expedited registration procedures, and making information from the company registrar available online. Haiti eased business start-up by eliminating the review of the incorporation act by the President or Prime Minister’s office.

Sylvia Solf, the lead author of the report, said that “governments in the Caribbean, as elsewhere, have been picking up the pace of improvements to business regulation to empower local entrepreneurs”.  “Small island states such as Grenada, Cape Verde, and Brunei Darussalam have been paying attention to the quality of business regulation to make their economies more competitive and to support greater job creation by local firms,” Solf added.

The Doing Business report series analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and closing a business.   The report does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors.

The report does not measure security, macroeconomic stability, corruption, skill level, or the strength of financial systems.

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