Jamaica’s rank has fallen consecutively over the past years, from 65th in 2016 to 67th in 2017, to 70th in 2018, and now to 75th in the 2019 Doing Business Report. The rank has fallen despite Jamaica’s index value increasing by 20 basis points, from 67.27 in 2018 to 67.47. This is indicating that some procedures to do business are improving on the island but are not improving rapidly enough to keep up with the rest of the world.
How easy it is to start a business?
It is very easy to start a business in Jamaica relative to other countries. In the 2019 report, Jamaica ranks sixth in the world as it relates to starting a business, compared to ranking fifth in 2018. Similar to the 2018 index, for the 2019 report, Jamaica requires two procedures and three days to start a business, improving from 10 days in 2017, while it requires 8.2 procedures and more than 28.5 days to start a business on average in the Caribbean and Latin America.
It takes 4.9 procedures and 9.3 days to start a business in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries on average. The cost to start a business has fallen from 4.8 to 4.4 per cent of per capita GDP in Jamaica compared to 37.8 per cent in Latin America and 3.1 per cent in the OECD. Slovenia appears to have replaced the United Kingdom (UK) as the country with the lowest business start-up registration cost.
What about dealing with construction permits?
As it relates to dealing with construction permits, Jamaica is ranked 76th in the 2019 report, one place worse than the 75th it ranked in 2018. Similar to as reported for 2018, it now requires 19 procedures in Jamaica to deal with construction permits, while it requires 15.4 procedures across the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America.
Similar to last year, it also requires 141.5 days to deal with construction permits, which continues to be better than the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America that requires 199 days and the OECD countries, where 153.1 days are required to deal with construction permits.
What about access to electricity?
Jamaica’s rank has fallen from 91 in 2018 to 115 in the 2019 report. It requires seven procedures, 95 days and cost approximately 23.9 of income per capita to get electricity in Jamaica relative to just 5.5 procedures, 65.5 days and a cost of 946.3 per cent of income per person in the other Caribbean and Latin American countries, and the requisite 4.5 procedures in 77.2 days to get electricity in the OECD countries.