Int’l reports lauds reforms to property registration process


Jamaica has won international praise for making it easier in the past year, to register property, through fast-track procedures it introduced, saving local entrepreneurs time and money.
According to the ‘Doing Business 2011: Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs’, “Jamaica eased the transfer of property by lowering transfer taxes and fees, offering expedited registration procedures, and making information from the company registrar available online.”
This report, the eighth in a series of annual reports published by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank, noted the strides made in the registration of simple property sales in Jamaica, which is now possible in two days, down from seven.
Other Caribbean countries singled out for making positive reforms that have benefiting the business climate, include Grenada, Guyana, and Haiti.
Grenada was among the global leaders in improving business regulations for local firms. The “spice island” eased business start-up by transferring responsibility for its commercial registry from the courts to the civil administration; nearly halved the time needed to transfer property; and improved customs administration.
Governments in the Caribbean, as elsewhere, have been picking up the pace of improvements to business regulation to empower local entrepreneurs, said Sylvia Solf, lead author of the report.
Small island states such as Grenada, Cape Verde, and Brunei Darussalam, have been paying attention to the quality of business regulation to make their economies more competitive and to support greater job creation by local firms.
Doing Business 2011 shows how much business regulations have changed in 174 economies since 2005.
Around the world, governments in 117 economies carried out 216 business regulation reforms aimed at making it easier to start and operate a business, strengthen transparency and property rights, and improve the efficiency of commercial dispute resolution, and bankruptcy procedures.
In the past five years about 85 per cent of the world’s economies have made it easier for local entrepreneurs to operate, through 1,511 improvements to business regulation.
Singapore was lauded for topping the list for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Hong Kong SAR China, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Among the 40 most-improved economies over the period are China, the Arab Republic of Egypt, Nigeria, and India, which together account for more than 40 per cent of the world’s population. Colombia and Peru have also ranked among the world’s most consistent reformers of business regulation.
Doing Business analyses regulations that apply to an economy’s business including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and closing a business. It does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors, including security, macroeconomic stability, corruption, skill level, or the strength of financial systems.
The report’s findings have stimulated policy debates in more than 80 economies and enabled a growing body of research on how firm-level regulation relates to economic outcomes across economies. For more information about the Doing Business report series, visit: www.doingbusiness.org

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