Doing Business Reforms taking shape – Ministry of Business

Over the last several months the Ministry of Business has been quietly engaging the World Bank International Finance Corporation (IFC) team for assistance in crafting a doing business reforms agenda which would see the Ministry taking definitive measures to improve Guyana’s ranking in the doing business index. Guyana is currently ranked 137 out of 189 countries in the ease of doing business index.

In April of this year a World Bank IFC team visited Guyana at the invitation of the Ministry of Business, and met with stakeholders of both the private and public sectors. Those engagements led to an ICT assessment report, a review of laws and regulations that pertains to doing business in Guyana as well as recommendations for short term reforms.

Two of the short term recommendations that were implemented involved placing information on the Ministry of Business’ website. That information pertained to: 1) requirements for obtaining building permits and 2) documents required and fee schedules for property transactions and for accessing maps of land plots.

Earlier this year, there was a significant reform where an amendment to the Credit Reporting Act was passed in the National Assembly. It is expected that this will help to make it easier for borrowers with no collateral but a good credit history to access loan financing.

While these reforms may not necessarily change Guyana’s overall ranking in the 2017 report, the Ministry of Business is committed to an agenda that will see meaningful progress in the coming years.

Already the Ministry has received and accepted offers of assistance from several organisations including the World Bank, to assist with reforms in eight of the technical areas measured (starting a business; dealing with construction permits; getting electricity; registering property; getting credit; protecting minority investors; paying taxes; trading across borders; enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency) in the Doing Business Index and will be prioritising those key reforms which will be pursued in the coming years.