Jamaica slips two ranks in 2017 Doing Business Report, but… – Business

With a new methodology in operation, Jamaica has slipped two spaces to stand at 67th in the world in the prestigious Doing Business Report 2017, retaining its position as first in the Caribbean in respect of the ease of doing business.

But the World Bank was quick to point out that “due to adjustments in its methodology, 2017 rankings cannot be directly compared with those for 2016.”

The ranking follows two consecutive years of rapid ascension for the island after it placed seven spots above its 2015 ranking to 65 in 2016. Now at 67, Jamaica’s current ranking is still three places better than Panama at 70 – viewed as one of the fastest-growing economies in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

“Jamaica made paying taxes less costly by increasing tax depreciation rates and the initial capital allowance for assets acquired on or after January 1, 2014. Furthermore, companies incorporated for less than 24 months are exempted from paying the minimum business tax,” the report stated.

According to the report, Jamaica moved 39 spots in paying taxes, up to 116 from last year’s ranking of 155. It added that the country also made paying taxes easier by implementing an electronic system for filing of corporate income tax, VAT and social security contributions.

A more efficient documentary compliance for exporting by the implementation of ASYCUDA World – an automated customs data management system – also contributed to the country’s improved ranking. Trading across borders also improved two spots year over year. The report, however, saw Jamaica getting a thumbs down for starting a business, noting that the island made starting a business more difficult by removing the ability to complete next-day company incorporation.

Additionally, the country moved 20 spots down in getting electricity from the 2016 ranking of 81 to 101, indicating weakened efficiency and effectiveness for a business to obtain a permanent electricity connection for a new construction.

Across the Caribbean, St Lucia placed second with a ranking of 86, followed by Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominica Republic. According to the report published by the World Bank, payment of taxes improved across Latin America and the Caribbean.

The joint World Bank and IFC flagship Doing Business report analyses regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and resolving insolvency.

The report indicates that Doing Business does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors. Since the 2015 report, the researchers adopted a new methodology to measure how close each economy is to global best practices in business regulation. A higher score indicates a more efficient business environment and stronger legal institutions.

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