Press Releases

Jamaica Improves Property Registration by Lowering Taxes and Fees

In Washington, D.C.:
Nadine Ghannam
Phone: +1 (202) 473-3011        


Washington, D.C., November 4, 2010 Jamaica made it easier to register property in the past year by introducing fast track procedures that save local entrepreneurs time and money, according to Doing Business 2011: Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs, the eighth in a series of annual reports published by IFC and the World Bank.

Jamaica eased the transfer of property by lowering transfer taxes and fees, offering expedited registration procedures, and making information from the company registrar available online. Registration for simple property sales is now possible in two days, down from seven.

Other reformers in the Caribbean included Grenada, Guyana and Haiti. Grenada was among the global leaders in improving business regulations for local firms. It eased business start-up by transferring responsibility for its commercial registry from the courts to the civil administration; nearly halved the time needed to transfer property, and improved customs administration.

Guyana made starting a business easier by digitizing company records. The country also enhanced access to credit by establishing a regulatory framework that allows the licensing of private credit bureaus and gives borrowers the right to inspect their data. Improvements to Guyana’s risk profiling system for customs inspection reduced physical inspections of shipments and sped up trade.

Haiti also eased business start-up by eliminating the review of the incorporation act by the president’s or prime minister’s office.

Around the world, governments in 117 economies carried out 216 business regulation reforms aimed at making it easier to start and operate a business, strengthening transparency and property rights, and improving the efficiency of commercial dispute resolution and bankruptcy procedures.

In the past five years about 85 percent of the world’s economies have made it easier for local entrepreneurs to operate, through 1,511 improvements to business regulation. Doing Business 2011 shows how much business regulation has changed in 174 economies since 2005.

The 40 most-improved economies in those five years include China, the Arab Republic of Egypt, Nigeria, and India, which together account for more than 40 percent of the world’s population. Colombia and Peru have also been among the world’s most consistent reformers of business regulation.

“Governments in the Caribbean, as elsewhere, have been picking up the pace of improvements to business regulation to empower local entrepreneurs,” said Sylvia Solf, lead author of the report. “Small island states such as Grenada, Cape Verde, and Brunei Darussalam have been paying attention to the quality of business regulation to make their economies more competitive and to support greater job creation by local firms.”

About the Doing Business report series
Doing Business analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and closing a business. Doing Business does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors. For example, it does not measure security, macroeconomic stability, corruption, skill level, or the strength of financial systems. Its findings have stimulated policy debates in more than 80 economies and enabled a growing body of research on how firm-level regulation relates to economic outcomes across economies.

For more information about the Doing Business report series, please visit:

About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit,, and

Contacts for region-specific queries on Doing Business 2011:

Latin America and the Caribbean
Adriana Gomez +1 (202) 458-5204                         Gabriela Aguilar +1 (202) 473-6768
E-mail:                                E-mail: