WASHINGTON, D.C: The World Bank has announced that many Caribbean countries have implemented at least one economic reform over the past year, making it easier for local entrepreneurs to do business.
In a new report, the World Bank says there were 12 reforms in total, a historical high for the region.
Jamaica had the region’s largest improvement in the ease of doing business in the past year, due to three reforms in areas measured by the report, titled “Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency”.
It says Jamaica streamlined the requirements for starting a business, reduced the cost of getting an electricity connection and established new credit bureaus, while also adopting a new secured transactions law that broadens the range of assets that can be used as collateral.
Joining Jamaica in implementing multiple regulatory reforms were the Dominican Republic and Trinidad & Tobago.
The Dominican Republic made cross-border trade easier by reducing the number of documents required to import and export, improved the regulatory framework for credit reporting and strengthened minority shareholder protections.
Trinidad & Tobago made resolving insolvency easier by introducing a new restructuring proceeding, according to the report. The twin-island republic also strengthened the rights of secured creditors during reorganization procedures and it made starting a business easier by introducing online systems for employer and tax registration.
The report says such reforms are leading to significant benefits for entrepreneurs.
For example, it says starting a business now takes 11.5 days for an entrepreneur in Trinidad & Tobago, on par with international best practice, down from 35.5 days in 2013.
“Entrepreneurs in the Caribbean continue to see gains in the business environment,” said Rita Ramalho, the lead author of the report. “With half the region’s economies making regulatory reforms in the past year, the Caribbean continues to move in the right direction.”
The World Bank Group’s annual “Doing Business” report analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes and resolving insolvency.