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T&T slips in World Bank Doing Business report

Published: 
Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A 2018 World Bank Doing Business Report has said that T&T is ranked 102nd out of 190 economies worldwide.

According to a Ministry of Trade media release yesterday, despite a drop in ranking from the 2017 Report, T&T remains favourably ranked in the areas of 1) getting electricty (33rd), getting credit (55th) and protecting investors (62)

The Trade Ministry said to improve T&T’s Doing Business rank in these and other strategic indicators, a robust package of administrative and legislative reforms, aimed at improving the doing business climate in T&T, has commenced.

The Ministry said these reforms will be implemented over a three-year period.

Short term reforms for 2017 to 2018 include making it easier to pay taxes, starting a business and dealing with construction permits.

"The Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, through the Registrar’s General Department, will completely phase out manual applications for company registration by December 2018 in favour of electronic applications. This reform will reduce the length of time it takes to start a business from 10 to 3 days. The Ministry of Planning and Development and the Ministry of Trade are collaborating to develop and implement an Automated System for Construction Permitting to reduce the administrative burden for obtaining a construction permit."

In the medium term of 2018 to 2019, the Ministry of Trade will develop and implement a Secured Transactions and Collateral Registry System by December 2019.

This system is a legislative and institutional framework designed to facilitate the use of movable property—intellectual property, agricultural products, accounts receivables, machinery and equipment—as collateral, and will provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with increased access to finance.

Additionally, the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Trade Ministry, and with technical assistance from the IDB, will implement an Electronic Funds Transfer system by the end of the calendar year 2019.

The Trade Ministry concluded that these reforms and projects, through decisive action and implementation by the Government, will not only have a significant impact on the domestic business climate but will guarantee an improvement T&T’s rank in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, across each respective indicator.

"These outcomes are imperative to achieving increased levels of foreign direct investment and business expansion."