Guyana sees dip in ease of doing business rankings

Guyana has dropped two places in the World Bank’s latest rankings for the ease of doing business, moving down to 126 from a rank of 124 last year.

The World Bank’s “Doing Business 2018-Reforming to create jobs” report compares business regulations for domestic firms in 190 economies. It measures aspects of business regulations and their implications for firm establishment and operations and focuses on key areas of interaction between the government and entrepreneurs, where policy makers and regulators can directly influence procedures to facilitate these interactions.

Specifically, the report measures and tracks changes in regulations affecting 11 areas in the life cycle of a business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labour market regulation. These 11 indicator sets are said to capture the effectiveness and quality of doing business.

The report commended Guyana for decreasing the time to transfer property by allocating higher resources and personnel. Also commended was the adoption of a new code of civil procedure which the report notes makes enforcing contracts easier by regulating time standards for key court events.

However, an increase in the cost of starting a business saw the country drop seven places, from 92 to 99, in that indicator set. A drop of 13 places, from 123 to 136, was also recorded in the area of paying taxes, while Guyana rose in the ranks in areas such as dealing with construction permits, getting credit and protecting minority investors.

In the region, Jamaica remains the highest ranked Caribbean country on the index at 70, followed by St. Lucia at 91, Dominica at 98, the Dominican Republic at 99, Trinidad and Tobago at 102, Antigua and Barbuda at 107, and The Bahamas at 119.  New Zealand topped the rankings.

“The rankings of economies is determined by sorting the aggregate distance to frontier scores,” the report explained, while adding that the distance to frontier score captures the gap between an economy’s current performance and the best practice across the sample of indicators.

A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.

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