Business

Jamaica improves its Ease of Doing Business score

Ranks higher than all other Caricom countries

BY RICHARD BROWNE
Business editor
browner@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 25, 2019

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When it comes to the ease of doing business, Jamaica ranks as the best economy in the Caribbean — apart from the US Commonwealth island of Puerto Rico, according to a recent World Bank report.

Jamaica has improved its ranking since the last report, improving from 75, but is still below its previous rank of 70 in 2017.

The results come from the World Bank and its just-published Ease of Doing Business report for 2020, the 17th edition. The annual report looks at the business regulations in some 190 countries and the effects they have on business performance.

The country's score increased by 1.4 per cent from 68.3 in the 2019 report to 69.7 in the 2020 report.

That score put Jamaica well below the 86.8 per cent scored by top-placer New Zealand.

Finishing out the top 10 were Singapore (86.2), Hong Kong (85.3), Denmark, (85.3), South Korea (84), The United States (84), Georgia (83.7), the United Kingdom (83.5), Norway (82.6) and Sweden (82).

Jamaica performed better than almost all Caribbean economies, including: St Lucia (ranked 93), Trinidad and Tobago (105), Dominica (111), Antigua (113), Dominican Republic (115), The Bahamas (119), Barbados (128), St Vincent (130), Guyana (134), Belize (135), St Kitts (139), Grenada (146), Suriname (162), and Haiti ranking just outside the bottom 10 at 179.

Puerto Rico, however, ranked at 65, was the best-performing Caribbean economy. Mexico at 60 was the highest-ranked country in the wider Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) area. The only other country in the LAC region to rank higher than Jamaica is Colombia at 67.

Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean, is not included in the ranking.

According to the World Bank: “Economies of the Caribbean carried out a record 19 reforms and 11 of 16 economies implemented business-facilitating reforms primarily focused on starting a business, getting electricity, paying taxes, and enforcing contracts.”

Jamaica performed well in the 'Starting a Business' topic, ranking 6th in the world with an overall score of 97.4 out of 100.

The country also performed quite well for the catagories Getting Credit (15) and for Resolving Insolvancy (34).

But for other catagories, Jamaica performed quite poorly: Dealing with Construction Permits (70); Getting Electricity (120); Registering Property (85); Protecting Minority Investors (61); Paying Taxes (124) and Enforcing Contracts (119).

Its worst ranking was for Trading Across Borders, ranking 136th in the world.

Overall, Jamaica ranks just below Vietnam at 70 and just above Luxembourg at 72.

The lowest-ranking LAC economy is Venezuela at 188 with a score of 30.2 per cent. Only two countries ranked lower, Eritria with 21.6 per cent and Somalia with 20 per cent.


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