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Finance Ministry looks to improve ease of doing business

While The Bahamas fell in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rating by one point in 2019, the Ministry of Finance says it is satisfied with advancements in key areas. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

While The Bahamas fell in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rating by one point in 2019, the Ministry of Finance says it is satisfied with advancements in key areas.

The Ministry of Finance has said that there has been marked improvement in the global ease of doing business rankings in the five focal areas of the Ease of Doing Business Committee: Starting a business; dealing with construction permits; getting electricity; enforcing contracts and protecting minority rights, which registered the greatest improvement of 44 points.

Overall, The Bahamas fell in the Doing Business Rating by one point in 2019 compared to 2018, revealing new areas for improvement. Despite improvements in the five key areas of focus, the slippage was caused by a decline in three categories and neutral results in two areas.

Graphic courtesy World Bank

(Image: World Bank/TBI News Graphic)

The categories that saw a decrease in ratings related to registering property, getting credit and resolving insolvency.

In the upcoming year, the Ease of Doing Business Committee anticipates addressing the former two issues substantially with the land reform initiatives announced by the government, coupled with digitizing the registry.

The Credit Bureau once fully up and running this year should also greatly assist with the ease of granting and receiving credit.

The matter of resolving insolvency requires additional pubic consultation. The government plans to take those steps over the reminder of the year working with partners at The Bahamas Bar Association, Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) and insolvency practitioners.

The Ministry of Finance is satisfied overall with the improvements made over the course of the last two years to address the ease of doing business and anticipates even greater improvements in the upcoming year for those on the ground, particular local business persons.

Efforts to provide a one-stop shop to starting a business is being finalized, business start up grants, credit and equity capital have ramped up with over $2 million being granted this year as well as other incentives and concessions to help ensure the success of micro, small and medium enterprises.

The Bahamas Development Bank is undergoing a transformation to expand its products and services to incubate emerging or struggling industries to expand the economy and create more opportunities.

The fiscal deficit continued to improve during the first quarter of the fiscal year, based on preliminary estimates in the latest budget performance report. The government has plans to revise its fiscal estimates moving forward following Hurricane Dorian.

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