Despite the formation of a special committee strategically focused on improving the country’s ease of doing business score on the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2020 index, The Bahamas’ ranking dropped one spot to 119.
The country previously ranked 118 last year, 119 in 2017, and 121 in 2016.
The World Bank compared business regulations in 190 world economies based on 10 indicators that determine the ease of doing business.
Ranking 16 in Latin America and the Caribbean, The Bahamas remains behind its regional counterparts Jamaica, which is ranked at 71; St. Lucia, which is ranked 93; Trinidad and Tobago, which is ranked 105; Dominica, which is ranked 111; Antigua and Barbuda, which is ranked 113; and the Dominican Republic, which is ranked 115.
Of the 10 indicators that determine the ease of doing business, The Bahamas scored the lowest on getting credit, with a score of 30 percent and a ranking of 152. Followed by that is the registering of property, of which The Bahamas scored 30 percent and is ranked 181.
On the other hand, The Bahamas scored highly for starting a business, at 87 percent, and a ranking of 94; as well as for paying taxes, for which the country scored 81.7 percent and ranked 50.
The other indicators and their scores are: dealing with construction permits, which received a score of 70.9 percent and a ranking of 77; getting electricity, which received a score of 76.7 and a ranking of 81; protecting minority investors, which received a score of 56 and a ranking of 88; trading across borders, which received a score of 53.1 percent and a ranking of 161; enforcing contracts, which received a score of 59.1 percent and a ranking of 82; and resolving insolvency, which received a score of 53.4 percent and a ranking of 71.
The Minnis administration has made improving the ease of doing business a priority since the beginning of its term, having established a committee specifically mandated to recommend policy that would result in a higher ranking for the country.
In August, National Ease of Doing Business Committee (EODB) Chairperson Lynn Holowesko said she was “very pleased” with many of the policies introduced in the 2019/2020 budget aimed at improving the business climate in the country, particularly surrounding immigration, conveyance valuations and estate planning.
However, earlier in the year, Holowesko lamented that government had not enacted more of the committee’s recommendations.