Zim posts pos­i­tive re­forms to im­prove busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Harare Bureau

ZIM­BABWE reg­is­tered three pos­i­tive re­forms to im­prove the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment for both lo­cal and for­eign in­vestors out of a pos­si­ble 10 but slipped four places to num­ber 161 in the World Bank’s 2017 Ease of Do­ing Busi­ness Report.

The Gov­ern­ment has been mak­ing ef­forts to fur­ther im­prove the ease of do­ing busi­ness and aims to bring the coun­try in the dou­ble dig­its even­tu­ally.

The Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent and Cabi­net over­sees the Do­ing Busi­ness Re­form ini­tia­tive us­ing the Rapid Re­sults ap­proach.

The Chief Sec­re­tary to the Pres­i­dent and Cabi­net is the strate­gic spon­sor of the Ini­tia­tive.

Per­ma­nent sec­re­taries from more than 10 min­istries are re­spon­si­ble for im­ple­ment­ing mea­sures out­lined in the ac­tion plan for each of the Do­ing Busi­ness In­di­ca­tors.

But the re­form agenda ini­tia­tive is not unique to Zim­babwe alone. The World Bank notes 37 of the re­gion’s 48 economies adopted 80 re­forms to im­prove the busi­ness cli­mate.

Ac­cord­ing to the report, sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa economies car­ried out a record num­ber of re­forms in the past year to im­prove the busi­ness cli­mate for lo­cal en­trepreneurs, with data show­ing it now takes 27 days to start a busi­ness in the re­gion com­pared to 37 days five years ago.

Zim­babwe was ranked num­ber 157 last year out of 189 coun­tries. The 2017 report, how­ever, now cov­ers 190 economies with the in­clu­sion of So­ma­lia.

The Ease of Do­ing Busi­ness Report is the WB’s flag­ship pub­li­ca­tion that mea­sures coun­tries’ reg­u­la­tions that en­hance busi­ness ac­tiv­ity or con­strain it.

In­vestors world­wide also fac­tor in the rank­ings be­fore con­sid­er­ing in­vest­ing in a coun­try.

For the first time, the report in­cludes gen­der di­men­sions in three in­di­ca­tors that is start­ing a busi­ness, reg­is­ter­ing prop­erty and en­forc­ing con­tracts.

Ac­cord­ing to the WB, six coun­tries in the sub-Sa­hara re­gion make start­ing a busi­ness more dif­fi­cult for women than it is for their male coun­ter­parts.

The 2017 report also ex­panded the Pay­ing Taxes in­di­ca­tor to cover post fil­ing pro­cesses such as tax au­dits and Value Added Tax re­fund.

The WB, how­ever, in­di­cated there is room for im­prove­ments in the sub-Sa­hara re­gion in this re­gard.

“In most economies in sub-Sa­hara Africa — where it is likely for an au­dit to take place — tax pay­ers are ex­posed to a field au­dit whereby the au­di­tor vis­its the premise of the tax­payer.

‘‘This is the case in Botswana, the Gambia, Malawi, Niger, Zam­bia and Zim­babwe,” said the WB.

Newly con­structed Gokwe Town House now open for busi­ness. It has a rev­enue hall and of­fices for man­age­ment

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