Doing business in Guyana more difficult

—country drops a further 8 spaces in World Bank index

Guyana has dropped eight places in the World Bank’s latest rankings for the ease of doing business. It has moved to ranking of  134 out of 190 from a rank of 126 last year.

The lower the numerical ranking the better the business climate. In 2016, the country stood at a rank of 124 but dropped two places the following year.

Of the 190 countries ranked in the World Bank’s latest “Doing Business” report, Guyana now stands at 134, which means the business climate has become more difficult for new businesses.

2016 had seen one of the country’s biggest gains in recent years on the ranking scale as it had moved up a whopping 16 places to 124 from 140 in 2015. In 2014, the country was ranked at 132.

The World Bank’s business score captures the gap between an economy’s performance and its measure of best practice across the entire sample of 41 indicators for 10 ‘Doing Busi-ness’ topics (the labour market regulation indicators are excluded).  For starting a business, for example, New Zealand and Georgia have the lowest number of procedures required (1). New Zealand also holds the shortest time to start a business (0.5 days), while Slovenia has the lowest cost (0.0).

However, the World Bank Group’s ‘Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform’ report found that to start a business in Guyana, one would have to complete seven procedures that could take up to eighteen days to complete. When dealing with construction permits, a business has to complete 17 procedures and this can take up to a whopping 208 days, while getting electricity can see one spending 82 days to get eight procedures completed in Guyana. To register a property, six procedures have to be completed and some 45 days can be spent doing this.

In the Caribbean, Jamaica is ranked at 75, The Bahamas is ranked at 118 and the Dominican Republic 102.

The Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica and Grenada have all improved access to credit information through the introduction of regulations and

by improving the functioning of their credit bureaus. The Dominican Republic strengthened its protection of minority investors by increasing the independence of boards of directors.

Jamaica features in the top 20 countries in the ‘Getting Credit Indicator’ for their comprehensive credit reporting systems and ranks among the best globally in the area of starting a business (with a rank of 6) as it takes only two procedures and three days for an entrepreneur to start up and formally operate a business.

As far as CARICOM countries, Guyana ranks higher that Suriname, St Kitts-Nevis and Grenda.

Doing Business is the World Bank Group’s flagship publication and the 16th in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Busi-ness presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—over time.

Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also measures labour market regulations, which is not included in this year’s ranking.

Data in Doing Business 2019 are current as of May 1, 2018. The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms of business regulation have worked, where and why.

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