How Easy Is It To Do Business In The Caribbean & Latin America?

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Invest Caribbean Now Forum audience 2013. (Hayden Roger Celestin image/ICN)
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Nov. 8, 2013: The World Bank’s 2014 annual ‘Doing Business’ rankings are in and Latin America and Caribbean nations are not staking up too badly.

Actually, out of 189 economies surveyed globally by the report’s authors, 14 came in on the top 100 list. The report ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders with one being the highest and 189 the lowest.

THE CARIBBEAN

Most of the Caribbean nations led the way with Puerto Rico receiving the highest rank at 40 worldwide and 18 overall for the ease of starting a business.
Puerto Rico was followed by St. Lucia at 64 with an ease of starting a business rank of 57.

Trinidad & Tobago came in at 66 while Antigua was 71. In both countries, however, the ease of starting a business was 67 and 92, respectively.

Dominica was ranked 77 while St. Vincent & the Grenadines came in at 82. In Dominica, the ease of starting a business was put at 51 while in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it was put at 68.

Globally, the Bahamas received a ranking of 84 with the ease of starting a business there put at 83 while and Barbados was ranked 91 worldwide and 77th for ease of starting up a business.

Jamaica came in at 94 on the list but Bank officials gave it highest mark of 23 in the Caribbean for ease of starting up a business.

LATIN AMERICA

For Latin America, Chile led the way with a rank of 34 and ease of starting a business of 22. Peru was next at 42 but starting a business there was a lot harder at a rank of 170.

Colombia came in at 43but 79 for ease of starting a business while Mexico was at 53 with a higher start up rank of 48.

In Panama, the ease of doing business was ranked at 55 globally and like Peru and Colombia, ranked high of the ease of start-up list at 25.

Guatemala rounded out the top 100 for the Latin America and Caribbean nations, coming in at 79 globally but 145 on the start-up rank.

OTHER PLUSES

In Latin America and the Caribbean, only 10 of 32 economies require new businesses to deposit minimum capital. In the Dominican Republic, it was the highest at $2,500 or half of income per capita.

Most of the other economies with enforced capital requirements kept it low. In Suriname it’s about $30 or .04 percent of income percent on income per capita while in Bolivia it’s about $40 or 1.8 percent.

St. Kitts/Nevis, Uruguay and Mexico have eliminated capital requirements in the past 10 years.

Latin America and the Caribbean also led the world in the depth of credit information index. Jamaica was among 11 other nations globally that enhanced access to credit information by adopting laws or regulations improving frameworks for sharing credit information or protecting borrower’s rights to inspect their own data.

OTHER COUNTRIES

Other countries did not fare as well. St. Kitts/Nevis came in at 101 while Costa Rica was ranked 102.
Belize came in at 106 while Grenada ranked 107.

Guyana was listed at 115 globally, ahead of Brazil which was at 116 and the Dominican Republic, which came in at 117 on the ranking.
El Salvador came in at 118 while Nicaragua was at 124.

Argentina was surprisingly ranked 126 overall, just ahead of Honduras at 127.

Suriname came much further on the ease of doing business rankings, at 161, but it was ahead of Bolivia at 162 and Haiti, which rounded out the total for Caribbean and Latin American nations at 177. Starting a business in many of these countries was also difficult, according to the Bank’s reported rankings.

GLOBALLY

Singapore topped the global ranking on the ease of doing business. Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulatory environments are Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Malaysia; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; Norway; and the United Kingdom.
Ukraine, Rwanda, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, Kosovo, Djibouti, Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Guatemala were among the economies improving the most in 2012/13 in areas tracked by Doing Business.

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