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Colombia is the top place for ease of doing business in Latin America says the World Bank.

By NAN Business Editor

 News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Nov. 7, 2014:  Doing business around the world, including in Latin America and the Caribbean can be complicated at times so which are the top 10 nations in this region that make it easier?

According to the latest World Bank Group publication, ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency,’ the following nations rank at the very top in the Latin America/Caribbean region on the ease of doing business. This includes measuring the ease of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Countries’ economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1–189. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm. Ranks for categories such as starting a business, range between 1 and 31 with 1 of course being the best.

1: Colombia: This South American nation topped the list for Latin American and Caribbean nations but it came in overall at 34 on the rankings. According to the World Bank, Colombia scored 11 globally if you are looking to start a business and 12th for dealing with construction permits. When it comes to getting electricity, the hometown to superstar Shakira is at 19th.  The country is at number one when it comes to protecting minority investors and getting credit but is 29th on enforcing contracts.

2: Peru: Peru, a country in western South America, came in at 35th on the Doing Business 2015 ranking. Peru scored 13th on the ranks of starting a new business but it was only 16th and 18th, respectively when it came to getting construction permits or electricity. However, Peru was number 1 when it comes to registering property and 4 on getting credit and protecting minority investors. However, it was 14th when it comes to enforcing contracts.

3: Mexico: This neighbor of the U.S. ranked 39th on the ease of Doing Business ranks. Starting a business is easy, with Mexico scoring a 6 rank in this category but it is a lot slower here to get permits and electricity. The World Bank placed the Latin American nation at 20th and 29th, respectively on the ranks for these two categories, one of the slowest in the group of ten nation. However, the country was number 1 when it comes to enforcing contracts and 4th and 5th, respectively when it came to getting credit and protecting minority investors.

4: Puerto Rico: This U.S. territory ranked 47th globally on the list and fourth in the region of Latin America/Caribbean. When it comes to resolving insolvency, Puerto Rico came in at number 1 but was the second slowest nation in the bloc on issuing construction permits, ranking at 29th. Getting credit earned PR high marks with a 2 rank but only 11th when it came to protecting minority investors.

5: Panama: This southernmost country of Central America and the whole of North America made it to the fifth easiest place in the Latin American/Caribbean region to do business but only 52 globally. Starting a business here is easy according to the World Bank, with Panama earning a 2 rank globally. It’s also easy to trade across borders, with Panama earning a number 1 rank in this category. However, paying taxes here is difficult with the country ranking only 28. Overall, however, Panama excelled in all areas including getting electricity, registering property, getting credit and enforcing contracts.

6: Jamaica: This third-largest island of the Greater Antilles was the number one Caribbean island to do business according to the ranks and 58 globally. Starting a business here and getting construction permits is very easy with Jamaica coming in at 1 and 2, respectively in these categories. However, getting electricity here is not as easy as is trading across borders with the country earning only 24 and 25 ranks, according to the bank.

7: Guatemala: This Central America nation bordered by Mexico to the north and west came in at 73 on the global rankings surprisingly, beating out three other nations including Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica and Uruguay. In Guatemala, it’s easy to get electricity, get credit and pay taxes, according to the World Bank, but harder to get construction permits, enforce contracts or resolve insolvency. It also earned only a 27 for protecting the rights of minority investors.

8: Trinidad & Tobago: This oil rich twin island Republic moved up to 79 on the global ranks this year, a dramatic jump by 12 points.  T&T earned high marks for protecting the rights of minority investors and getting electricity with a 5 and 6 ranks, respectively. It was also fairly easy to start a business there and get credit but not as easy to get construction permits or register property.

9: Uruguay:  The second-smallest nation in South America after Suriname, Uruguay came in at 82 on the global ranking scale. It’s easy to start a business here, said the World Bank, with Uruguay earning a 4 on the rank in this category. It’s also easy to resolve insolvency – a 6 and get electricity – a 10. However, it’s the slowest country in the top ten to get construction permits with the World Bank ranking it at 30.

10: Costa Rica: This Central American nation that has no army or military of any kind rounded out the top 10 best nations to do business in the Latin American/Caribbean sphere. It ranked 83 globally but while it was easy to register a property here – with a rank of 3 – it’s harder to start a business with the country earning only a 20 rank. It’s also slow at protecting minority investors with a rank of 31 and enforcing contracts, earning only a rank of 22.

Globally, the number one nation for ease of business was Singapore followed by New Zealand, Hong Kong China, Denmark and the Republic of Korea.

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