Above: Puerto Rico (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Puerto Rico and St Lucia are the best places in the Caribbean for doing business, according to the World Bank’s annual Doing Business report, which ranks countries around the world on their business environments.
For yet another year, it’s St Lucia that tops sovereign Caribbean countries for the ease of doing business, with an overall ranking of 64th in the world, just ahead of Italy and behind Belarus.
That’s not the whole story, though — St Lucia’s ranking actually fell 11 slots, from 53rd overall in 2012, the steepest decline of any Caribbean country. That was part of a general decline for Caribbean countries on the list.
Only Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico and Suriname saw their rankings improve from 2012 to 2013. (Note: Puerto Rico was the only non-sovereign country on the list, meaning overseas territories were omitted).
Puerto Rico was the highest ranked country or territory, with an overall ranking of 40th in the world, ahead of South Africa and just behind Cyprus.
Among sovereign Caribbean countries, Trinidad and Tobago was next at 66th (improving three slots from 2012), followed by Antigua and Barbuda at 71st and Dominica at 77th.
The Doing Business report looks at regulations that affect businesses through their life cycle, from start-up to daily operations to what happens when things go wrong — i.e. enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
Despite stated efforts to improve its business climate, Haiti remained the lowest-ranked country in the Caribbean in that regard.
“The economies ranking highest on the ease of doing business are not those with no regulation, but those whose governments have managed to create a regulatory system that facilitates interactions in the marketplace and protects important public interests without unnecessarily hindering the development of the private sector,” the report said.
That means “a regulatory system with strong institutions and low transaction costs,” according to the report.
For the full Caribbean rankings, see below.
Click here for the full report.