Mon | Dec 9, 2019

Briefing | Jamaica falls 5 places on World Doing Business Report 2019

Published:Wednesday | December 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMDr Andre Haughton
Jamaica is ranked 123 as it relates to paying taxes, slightly worse than 122 in 2017.

Jamaica's rank has fallen consecutively over the past years, from 65th in 2016 to 67th in 2017, to 70th in 2018, and now to 75th in the 2019 Doing Business Report. The rank has fallen despite Jamaica's index value increasing by 20 basis points, from 67.27 in 2018 to 67.47. This is indicating that some procedures to do business are improving on the island but are not improving rapidly enough to keep up with the rest of the world.

 

How easy it is to start a business?

 

It is very easy to start a business in Jamaica relative to other countries. In the 2019 report, Jamaica ranks sixth in the world as it relates to starting a business, compared to ranking fifth in 2018. Similar to the 2018 index, for the 2019 report, Jamaica requires two procedures and three days to start a business, improving from 10 days in 2017, while it requires 8.2 procedures and more than 28.5 days to start a business on average in the Caribbean and Latin America.

It takes 4.9 procedures and 9.3 days to start a business in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries on average. The cost to start a business has fallen from 4.8 to 4.4 per cent of per capita GDP in Jamaica compared to 37.8 per cent in Latin America and 3.1 per cent in the OECD. Slovenia appears to have replaced the United Kingdom (UK) as the country with the lowest business start-up registration cost.

 

What about dealing with construction permits?

 

As it relates to dealing with construction permits, Jamaica is ranked 76th in the 2019 report, one place worse than the 75th it ranked in 2018. Similar to as reported for 2018, it now requires 19 procedures in Jamaica to deal with construction permits, while it requires 15.4 procedures across the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America.

Similar to last year, it also requires 141.5 days to deal with construction permits, which continues to be better than the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America that requires 199 days and the OECD countries, where 153.1 days are required to deal with construction permits.

 

What about access to electricity?

 

Jamaica's rank has fallen from 91 in 2018 to 115 in the 2019 report. It requires seven procedures, 95 days and cost approximately 23.9 of income per capita to get electricity in Jamaica relative to just 5.5 procedures, 65.5 days and a cost of 946.3 per cent of income per person in the other Caribbean and Latin American countries, and the requisite 4.5 procedures in 77.2 days to get electricity in the OECD countries.

 

How easy is it to register property and get credit?

 

Jamaica has improved as it relates to accessing credit, from 20th in 2018 to 12th place. Jamaica's rank has slightly worsened from 128th in 2018 to 131st in the 2019 report as it relates to registering property in the country. It takes eight procedures, 19 days and costs 9.8 per cent of the property value to register property in Jamaica relative to 7.2 procedures, 63.3 days and 5.8 per cent of the property value to register property in the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America. It requires 4.7 procedures in 20.1 days and costs 4.2 per cent of the property value in the OECD.

 

Is it easier to pay taxes?

 

Jamaica is ranked 123 as it relates to paying taxes, slightly worse than 122 in 2017, although maintaining the same amount of procedures and time as last year, it still requires 11 payment procedures, but now requires 272 hours with a total tax rate on profits of 35.1 per cent relative to 27.1 payments taking 330 hours and a total tax rate of 46.7 per cent on profits in the Caribbean and Latin America.

 

How well does Jamaica trade across borders?

 

Jamaica is ranked 134 out of 190 countries with regard to trading across borders. It requires 58 border-control hours and costs US$876 to export goods from Jamaica, compared to 61.9 boarder-control hours and US$529.8 from the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America. It requires 80 border control hours and costs US$906 to import goods to Jamaica compared to 62.6 border-control hours and US$647.2 to import goods to the other Caribbean and Latin America countries.

 

What about contracts?

 

Jamaica has got worse as it relates to enforcing contracts. Jamaica fell from 122nd place in 2018 to 127th in the 2019 report. It still requires 550 days and costs approximately 50.2 per cent of the total claim, compared to 768.5 days and a cost of 31.4 per cent of the claim in the other Caribbean and Latin American countries.