Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 24th 2017 – The nearly 3-year-old Timothy Harris Team Unity administration has failed in its manifesto promise to improve the ways of doing business in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The World Bank in its Ease of Doing Business report on St. Kitts and Nevis, ranks the twin-island Federation 134 out of 190 countries in 2017 compared to 127 out of 190 countries in 2016.
“St. Kitts and Nevis has dropped several points in seven of the ten benchmarks. There was a slight improvement in one benchmark while the other two remained the same,” said Leader of the Opposition, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas during his weekly radio programme “Ask the Ledaer” on Kyss 102.5 FM on Tuesday.
The report highlighted no or little change in enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and trading across borders, but noted some difficulties in the processes for registering property, starting a business, and getting credit.
“It was more difficult to start a business in 2017. There was a 9 point change from 83 in 2016 to 92 in 2017 which indicates that we had fallen in the ranking when it came to ease of starting a business. Dealing with construction permits a 3 point drop in our rank was registered, moving from 38 in 2016 to 41 in 2017.
The subindice of getting electricity showed a drop of 5 points, changing from 85 in 2016 to 90 in 2017. Registering property became more difficult in 2017 compared to 2016. There was a fall of 19 points changing from 169 in 2016 to 184 in 2017,” said Dr. Douglas, who further noted that there was also a five point decline in getting credit, which registering 152 in 2016 compared to 157 in 2017.
Protecting minority investment also registered a 5 point decline from 97 in 2016 to 102 in 2017 and paying taxes also registered a three point change from 140 in 2016 to 143 in 2017. Trading across borders moved from 73 in 2016 to 72 in 2017 which reflected a slight improvement in the ranking.
According to the World Bank, higher rankings (a low numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.