Bar­ba­dos still has a long way to go

UK Barbados Nation - - NEWS - By SHAWN CUM­BER­BATCH

(In­ter­net im­age) IT IS HARDER to do busi­ness here than in Ja­maica, St Lu­cia and Trinidad and Tobago.

Bar­ba­dos has also re­ceived fail­ing grades in the ar­eas of busi­ness ac­cess to credit, pro­tec­tion of mi­nor­ity in­vestors, and en­force­ment of con­tracts.

The is­land did, how­ever, re­ceive pass marks for reg­u­la­tion as­so­ci­ated with start­ing a busi­ness, deal­ing with con­struc­tion per­mits, get­ting elec­tric­ity, reg­is­ter­ing prop­erty, pay­ing taxes, trad­ing across bor­ders, re­solv­ing in­sol­vency, and labour mar­ket reg­u­la­tion.

The data was cap­tured in the

World Bank’s re­cently re­leased

Do­ing Busi­ness 2019 re­port. Bar­ba­dos was listed at 129 out of 190 coun­tries, an im­prove­ment over last year’s rank of 132.

How­ever, this was still be­low the ease of busi­ness rank­ings of Ja­maica (75), St Lu­cia (93), and Trinidad and Tobago (105).

The World Bank pub­li­ca­tion com­pares busi­ness reg­u­la­tion for do­mes­tic firms in the 190 coun­tries. Apart from its rank, Bar­ba­dos had an ease of busi­ness score of 56.78 out of 100.

The ease of do­ing busi­ness score cap­tures the gap of each econ­omy from the best reg­u­la­tory per­for­mance ob­served on 11 in­di­ca­tors. These were: start­ing a busi­ness, deal­ing with con­struc­tion per­mits, get­ting elec­tric­ity, reg­is­ter­ing prop­erty, get­ting credit, pro­tect­ing mi­nor­ity in­vestors, pay­ing taxes, trad­ing across bor­ders, en­forc­ing con­tracts, re­solv­ing in­sol­vency, and labour mar­ket reg­u­la­tion.

An econ­omy’s ease of do­ing busi­ness score is re­flected on a scale from zero to 100, where zero rep­re­sents the low­est and 100 rep­re­sents the best per­for­mance.

Based on the lat­est scores out of 100, Bar­ba­dos re­ceived fail­ing grades for get­ting credit (30), pro­tect­ing mi­nor­ity in­vestors (35), and en­forc­ing con­tracts (38.02).

It scored high­est in the cat­e­gory of start­ing a busi­ness (85.15), but even this was be­low Ja­maica (97.35), St Lu­cia (89.18), Trinidad and

Tobago (88.57), and Gre­nada (87.26).

Bar­ba­dos’ other pass marks were pay­ing taxes (71.88), re­solv­ing in­sol­vency (69.79), get­ting elec­tric­ity (65.12), trad­ing across bor­ders (61.88), deal­ing with con­struc­tion per­mits (56.64), and reg­is­ter­ing prop­erty (54.33).

When the var­i­ous tal­lies were ex­am­ined more closely, Bar­ba­dos scored higher than other Caribbean is­lands in some cat­e­gories, but lower in oth­ers. For ex­am­ple, it is eas­ier to get con­struc­tion per­mits in Ja­maica, but Bar­ba­dos busi­nesses find it eas­ier to ac­cess elec­tric­ity com­pared to their Ja­maican coun­ter­parts.

Ad­di­tion­ally, mi­nor­ity share­hold­ers in Trinidad and Tobago re­ceive bet­ter pro­tec­tion com­pared to sim­i­lar in­vestors in Ja­maica, St Lu­cia, and Gre­nada, and Bar­ba­dos, which scored low­est among this group of coun­tries.

Bar­ba­dos was be­low St Lu­cia re­gard­ing the ease with which busi­nesses can pay taxes, but ahead of Ja­maica, Gre­nada, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Trinidad and Tobago, like Bar­ba­dos, failed in the area of con­tract en­force­ment, com­pared to the pass marks re­ceived by St Lu­cia, Gre­nada, and Ja­maica. Bar­ba­dos vir­tu­ally matched Ja­maica in the scores for re­solv­ing in­sol­vency. They had rank­ings of 34 and 33, re­spec­tively, out of 190 coun­tries.

In a snapshot of Bar­ba­dos’ busi­ness re­forms in re­cent years, the re­port said “Bar­ba­dos made pay­ing taxes more dif­fi­cult by in­tro­duc­ing a new Na­tional So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity Levy (NSRL) of two per cent on the value of prod­ucts be­fore [value added tax].

NSRL was sub­se­quently raised to ten per cent, but was abol­ished ef­fec­tive July 1 by the new ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Bar­ba­dos re­ceived its low­est rank­ing for en­force­ment of con­tracts and the high­est for re­solv­ing in­sol­ven­cies.

(In­ter­net im­age)

BAR­BA­DOS NEEDS to im­prove its scores in sev­eral ar­eas.

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