How did Ja­maica per­form this year?

Jamaica Gleaner - - CA­REERS -

JA­MAICA CUR­RENTLY ranks 64th in the World Do­ing Busi­ness Re­port 2016, lit­tle worse than its rank of 58th in 2015, although com­ing from as low as rank­ing 94th in 2014. Ja­maica con­tin­ues to per­form well on the books as it re­lates to start­ing a busi­ness and get­ting credit; ranked 9th in the world for ease of start­ing busi­ness and 7th in the world for ease of get­ting credit. The for­mer is of no sur­prise as we all know it is very easy to start a busi­ness in Ja­maica.

The rank­ing of sev­enth out of 189 in terms of ac­cess to credit is re­ally cal­cu­lated on the premise that cer­tain fea­tures that fa­cil­i­tate lend­ing ex­ist within the ap­pli­ca­ble col­lat­eral and bank­ruptcy laws. It also en­com­passes the cov­er­age, scope and ac­ces­si­bil­ity of credit in­for­ma­tion avail­able through credit re­port­ing ser­vice providers, for ex­am­ple, credit bu­reaus or credit reg­istries. The ease of get­ting credit has been am­pli­fied by leg­is­la­tion put in place to use small items and live­stock as col­lat­eral for loans. The le­gal rights of bor­row­ers and lenders are also taken into con­sid­er­a­tion. Ja­maica has im­proved once more in four main ar­eas: start­ing a busi­ness, deal­ing with con­struc­tion per­mits, pay­ing taxes, and re­solv­ing in­sol­vency. Ja­maica has made start­ing a busi­ness eas­ier by stream­lin­ing in­ter­nal pro­ce­dures. Ja­maica is ranked 72nd in terms of deal­ing with con­struc­tion per­mits. The coun­try has made deal­ing with con­struc­tion per­mits eas­ier by im­ple­ment­ing a new work flow for pro­cess­ing build­ing per­mit ap­pli­ca­tions. The coun­try is ranked 146 in terms of pay­ing taxes. It has im­proved by mak­ing pay­ing taxes less costly for busi­nesses by en­cour­ag­ing taxpayers to pay their taxes on­line.

Ja­maica also in­tro­duced an em­ploy­ment tax credit and in­creas­ing the de­pre­ci­a­tion rate of in­dus­trial busi­nesses. At the same time, Ja­maica has in­tro­duced a min­i­mum busi­ness tax, in­creased the con­tri­bu­tion rate for the Na­tional In­sur­ance Scheme paid by em­ploy­ers and in­creased the rate of stamp duty, property tax, property trans­fer tax and ed­u­ca­tion tax. Ja­maica is ranked 35th as it re­lates to re­solv­ing in­sol­vency. This was made pos­si­ble by in­tro­duc­ing a re­or­gan­i­sa­tion pro­ce­dure, in­tro­duc­ing pro­vi­sions to en­sure the con­tin­u­a­tion of debtors busi­ness dur­ing in­sol­vency pro­ceed­ings, al­low­ing cred­i­tors greater par­tic­i­pa­tion in the pro­ceed­ings, and es­tab­lish­ing a pub­lic of­fice re­spon­si­ble for the

Ja­maica ranks 80th in terms of get­ting elec­tric­ity, 122nd in terms of reg­is­ter­ing property, 57th in terms of pro­tect­ing mi­nor­ity in­vestors and 146 in terms trad­ing across bor­ders. This, along with pay­ing taxes, has been the na­tion’s ma­jor hand­i­caps. To ex­port, it re­quires 62 hours to com­plete the rel­e­vant doc­u­ments and 82 hours to deal with bor­der com­pli­ance, and three hours for do­mes­tic trans­port. As it re­lates to im­port, it re­quires 87 hours to fill out the doc­u­ments, 106 hours to deal with bor­der com­pli­ance and three hours for do­mes­tic trans­port.

Ev­ery year the World Bank’s Do­ing Busi­ness Re­port sum­marises data on some key el­e­ments nec­es­sary for a coun­try to ef­fec­tively con­duct busi­ness. The re­port as­sesses the reg­u­la­tive framework in a coun­try that en­hanced do­ing busi­ness against those that restrict the smooth flow of busi­nesses. The Do­ing Busi­ness Re­port presents quan­ti­ta­tive in­di­ca­tors on do­ing busi­ness and the pro­tec­tion of property rights across 189 coun­tries and ranks them ac­cord­ingly.

The 2016 Do­ing Busi­ness Re­port com­pares the busi­ness reg­u­la­tions for do­mes­tic firms in 189 economies. The re­port has high­lighted that the top­per­form­ing coun­tries as it re­lates to ease of do­ing busi­ness are not those with lit­tle reg­u­la­tion, but are those with good laws that al­low the ef­fi­cient and trans­par­ent func­tion­ing of busi­ness and mar­kets while pro­tect­ing the pub­lic in­ter­est.

For 2016, the Do­ing Busi­ness Re­port has been some ad­just­ments to the vari­ables it takes into con­sid­er­a­tion. It con­tin­ues to mea­sure reg­u­la­tions re­lated to start­ing a busi­ness, all for­mal­i­ties to build a ware­house, get­ting elec­tric­ity, trans­fer property, col­lat­eral laws and credit in­for­ma­tion, mi­nor­ity share­holder rights in re­lated party trans­ac­tions and in cor­po­rate gov­er­nance, tax com­pli­ance, en­forc­ing con­tracts and re­solv­ing in­sol­vency. The 2016 Do­ing Busi­ness Re­port has made some ad­just­ments com­pared to the 2015 re­port. The qual­ity of build­ing reg­u­la­tion and its im­ple­men­ta­tion, re­li­a­bil­ity of elec­tric­ity sup­ply, trans­parency of tar­iffs and price of elec­tric­ity and the qual­ity of the land and ad­min­is­tra­tion sys­tem, the qual­ity of the ju­di­cial process.

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