Washington, D.C., September 9, 2009—In
a record year for regulatory reform worldwide, economies in the Caribbean
intensified their reform efforts to create more opportunities for local
businesses, finds Doing Business 2010: Reforming through Difficult Times.
The seventh in a series of annual reports published by IFC and the World
Bank, the report found that 131 of 183 economies around the globe reformed
business regulation between June 2008 and May 2009.
The Dominican Republic, a consistent reformer, strengthened investor protections
with a new company law—making it the runner-up global reformer in protecting
investors and improving its global ranking on overall ease of doing business
from 102 to 86 among 183 economies.
The report finds that economies tend to be inspired by the reform activity
of neighbors. Three Caribbean island states—Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis,
and St. Lucia—reformed for the first time. Grenada eased contract enforcement
and improved customs administration. St. Kitts and Nevis implemented an
electronic data interchange system that expedited cross-border trade. And
St. Lucia eased business start-up by introducing an electronic company
“Caribbean economies have intensified efforts to improve the business
environment this year,” said Sylvia Solf, lead author of the report. “Around
the world, more small-island states are paying attention to the quality
of business regulation to make their economies more competitive. Making
it easy to start and run a business is always important, but especially
during these difficult times.”
St. Vincent and the Grenadines made it easier to start a business, while
Jamaica cut the property transfer tax from 6.5 percent of property value
to 5 percent. Haiti expanded access to credit by broadening the types of
assets that can be used as collateral and sped up trade by implementing
an online document handling system and 24-hour port operations.
This year Rwanda was the top global reformer. There were 4 new reformers
among the global top 10: Liberia, the United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan
and Moldova. Others, aside from Rwanda, include Egypt, Belarus, the Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Colombia. Colombia
and Egypt have been top global reformers in four of the past seven years.
Doing Business analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses
during their life cycles, 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.
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 www.worldbank.org,
For more information about the Doing Business report series, please
For more information on Doing Business 2010, please contact:
Nadine Ghannam +1 (202) 473-3011
Rebecca Ong +1 (202) 458-0434
Contacts for region-specific queries on Doing Business 2010:
Latin America and the Caribbean
Adriana Gomez +1 (202) 458-5204
Gabriela Aguilar +1 (202) 473-6768