Govt. satisfied with progress on ease of doing business

Govt. satisfied with progress on ease of doing business
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The government yesterday said it is satisfied with the overall improvements made over the past two years to address the ease of doing business, noting greater improvements are anticipated in the upcoming year.In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Finance acknowledged the ‘marked improvement’ in the global ease of doing business rankings in five areas, namely, starting a business; dealing with construction permits; getting electricity; enforcing contracts and protecting minority rights, which registered the greatest improvement of 44 points.

The Bahamas has seen a slight decline in its position on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 ranking, with this nation dropping one spot to the 119th position based on the report released last week.

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index ranks 190 countries against each other based on how the regulatory environment is conducive to business operation and stronger protections of property rights.

Economies with a high rank (1 to 20) have simpler and more friendly regulations for businesses. The Bahamas is now ranked 119th out of 190 countries on the World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business Index with a Doing Business Score of 59. 9.

The Bahamas drops back to a ranking it received in the World Bank’s 2018 report.

“Overall, The Bahamas fell in the World Bank’s Doing Business Rating by one point in 2019 compared to 2018, revealing new areas for improvement. Despite improvements in the five key areas of focus, the slippage was caused by a decline in three categories and neutral results in two areas,” the Ministry of Finance said.

“The categories that saw a decrease in ratings related to registering property, getting credit and resolving insolvency. In the upcoming year, the Ease of Doing Business Committee anticipates addressing the former two issues substantially with the land reform initiatives announced by the Government, coupled with digitizing the registry.

“The Credit Bureau once fully up and running this year should also greatly assist with the ease of granting and receiving credit. The matter of resolving insolvency requires additional pubic consultation. The government plans to take those steps over the reminder of the year working with partners at the Bar Association, BICA and insolvency practitioners.”

The statement continued: “The Ministry of Finance is satisfied overall with the improvements made over the course of the last two years to address the ease of doing business and anticipates even greater improvements in the upcoming year for those on the ground, particular local business persons.  Efforts to provide a one stop shop to starting a business is being finalized, business start up grants, credit and equity capital have ramped up with over $2 million being granted this year as well as other incentives and concessions to help ensure the success of MSMEs.”