Alicia Nicholls

The World Bank has released its latest Doing Business Report (2020) – Sustaining the Pace of Reforms. With an overall rank of 71 out of 190 economies, Jamaica has retained its top spot as the English-speaking Caribbean’s easiest economy in which to do business, followed by St. Lucia which respectively has an overall rank of 93 out of 190 economies.

Although several Caribbean countries were highlighted for reforms implemented in 2018/19, no Caribbean country ranks within the top 50 countries. This means that the region still has much catching up to do in terms of ease of doing business.

Please see below the ranks of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries:

Economy2020 Rank
Jamaica71
St. Lucia93
Trinidad & Tobago105
Dominica111
The Bahamas119
Barbados128
St. Vincent & the Grenadines130
Guyana134
Belize135
St. Kitts & Nevis139
Grenada146
Suriname162
Haiti179

Turning to the wider Caribbean, Puerto Rico is the easiest Caribbean country in which to do business with a rank of 65. The Dominican Republic ranked 115.

Reforms and changes

The following Caribbean countries were singled out for reforms made in improving business or changes which made business more difficult:

EconomyArea of Reform (whether positive or negative)
Antigua & BarbudaStarting a business (positive)
BarbadosGetting electricity (positive)
Registering property (negative)
Trading across borders (positive)
Enforcing contracts (positive)
BelizeGetting Electricity (positive)
Trading across borders (positive)
GrenadaStarting a business (positive)
GuyanaTrading across borders (negative)
HaitiGetting credit (positive)
JamaicaRegistering property (positive)
Enforcing contract (positive)
St Kitts & NevisGetting credit (positive)
St Vincent & the grenadinesPaying taxes (positive)
Trinidad & TobagoPaying taxes (positive)

The international perspective

Overall, the easiest economies in which to do business were New Zealand (1), Singapore (2), Hong Kong (3), Denmark (4) and South Korea (5). The most difficult were Libya (186), Yemen (187), Venezuela (188), Eritrea (189) and Somalia (190).

The 10 top improvers in the 2020 report were Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, India, and Nigeria, and accounted for one-fifth of all the reforms recorded globally.

The full World Bank Doing Business Report 2020 may be accessed here.

Alicia Nicholls, B.Sc., M.Sc., LL.B., is an international trade and development consultant with a keen interest in sustainable development, international law and trade. You can also read more of her commentaries and follow her on Twitter @LicyLaw.

DISCLAIMER: All views expressed herein are her personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of any institution or entity with which she may be affiliated from time to time.

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