The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, in a report that investigated regulations that enhances business activity and those that constrain it in 181 countries, rank Guyana at 105.
The local Private Sector Commission (PSC) said that Guyana’s ranking is poor, or at least not desirable. The new report, entitled “Doing Business 2009”, shows that Guyana dropped in the rankings by as much as 10 points, having been ranked 95 in the 2008 report.
Vice Chairman of the PSC, Mr Ramesh Dookhoo, said the “Doing Business” report has been engaging the attention of the private sector over the years, as the report is a world respected guide for investors.
However, Mr Dookhoo lamented the fact that the PSC has sought to meet with World Bank surveyors when they come here for their investigations to prepare the report, but he said this has never happened.
On the last occasion, Mr Dookhoo said he was called at 08:00 h for a meeting at 09:00 h, but the officials never showed up.
The PSC Vice Chairman found difficulty in accepting certain parts of the report. For example, when it comes to the time period for setting up a business, the report lists eight procedures that have to be followed, and estimated that the entire process would stretch over a period of 40 days.
However, when the PSC decided to request information from the relevant government agencies, such as the Guyana Revenue Authority and the National Insurance Scheme, the time period for the setting up a business amounted to just eight days.
But, Mr Dookhoo accepted the fact that the PSC did not actually commission someone to go around and register a business to see if the time provided by the agencies here compare favourably.
Citing an example, the “Doing Business” report claims it takes 14 days to register for Value Added Tax when setting up a business, but the Guyana Revenue Authority told the PSC that the process takes just one day.
“Doing Business” presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights.
The Doing Business methodology has limitations. Other areas important to business such as an economy’s proximity to large markets, the quality of its infrastructure services (other than those related to trading across borders), the security of property from theft and looting, the transparency of government procurement, macroeconomic conditions or the underlying strength of institutions are not studied directly by Doing Business, the report points out.
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