Jamaica Improves World Bank Doing Business Report Score, but falls behind in Overall Rank


Kingston, Jamaica - Jamaica will have to improve its pace in passing business reforms if the country is to rise to the Top 10 ranking in the Doing Business Report. This is the charge from JAMPRO President, Diane Edwards, in response to the newly published 2019 Doing Business Report (DBR), which has ranked Jamaica 75th of 190 countries. This latest DBR ranking represents a 5-point slide downwards from Jamaica’s previous rank of 70th in the 2018 DBR. 

Ms. Edwards noted that while Jamaica’s overall ease of doing business score has improved by 0.55 points, and the country recorded improvement in the scores of seven of the eleven indicators, Jamaica must implement business reforms faster to remain competitive in the global economy. Currently, Jamaica is the top performing country within the Caribbean and is in the top six (6) within the Latin America & Caribbean (LAC) region. 

The DBR notes that while Jamaica and the Dominican Republic have improved the most in terms of their scores, some 71 other countries improved their scores and ranking at greater levels, therefore leading to Jamaica’s decline in the rankings. The country’s best performing indicator was that of Dealing with Construction Permits, which moved 22 points upwards as a result of the passing of the National Building Act in March 2018. Jamaica has also earned the 12th spot in Getting Credit, while slipping marginally to 6th in the Starting a Business indicator. 

Jamaica will have to focus on improving its Getting Electricity indicator, as this indicator had the greatest decline by 24 points. Other areas for attention include Registering Property (131st), Trading Across Borders (134th) and Protecting Minority Investors (89th). 

Speaking about the report and Jamaica’s performance, Chairman of JAMPRO, Senator Don Wehby noted, “The results of this year’s Doing Business Report reinforces the need for a national emphasis on improving business and implementing reforms much faster than the pace we are used to. I have charged the JAMPRO team to work with other Government agencies to achieve top 10 in the next few years, and I believe that with greater commitment we can meet the target.” 

Chairman of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), the Honourable Daryl Vaz, explained that the NCC and JAMPRO have already commenced work with the World Bank to develop and implement a Reform Memorandum that outlines specific recommendations for various reforms across 10 indicators. The NCC formulates, implements and reports on business reforms made to address the gaps in doing business, with support from the Secretariat which is housed in JAMPRO and the commitment of various implementing agencies across Government.

Minister Vaz stated, “Incremental steps will not be enough to push the country forward, we need to take bold and aggressive leaps to drive the levels of competitiveness necessary to achieve the desired levels of economic development.” 

The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO)’s mission is to drive economic development through growth in investment and export. JAMPRO is an Agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.

Published Date: 
Thursday, November 1, 2018
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