It has gotten a bit more difficult to do business in Barbados within the last eight months.
That’s according to the Ease of Doing Business Report 2019, which has seen Barbados fall three spots to be globally-ranked 132nd out of 190 economies.
In the 2018 Report which was issued last October, Barbados was ranked 129th, which was a slight improvement from the 132nd ranking it received in 2017.
The island is also ranked 23rd out of 32 Latin American and Caribbean countries and ninth out of 15 Caribbean islands.
This was revealed this morning by Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce Dwight Sutherland as he spoke at a forum hosted by the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association (BMA) at the Accra Beach Hotel and Spa.
Jamaica is the highest-ranked country in the Caribbean at 75th, while St Lucia is ranked 93rd and Trinidad and Tobago 105th.
Sutherland disclosed that in the report, Barbados scored 56.78 points compared to the top-ranked New Zealand, which scored 87 points out of 100.
He noted that Barbados’ score was slightly below the regional average of 58.97 points for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The minister also outlined that in the trading across borders indicator, Barbados was also ranked low.
He said it was taking much too long for documents to be prepared and readied during both exports and imports.
“According to this report, it takes exporters 54 hours and US$109 to prepare, obtain, submit and process the required export documents and 41 hours and US$350 to comply with border clearance export procedures.The time requirements and costs for imports are even higher,” Sutherland contended.
He however, gave his assurance that all was being done to rectify the situation.
“My ministry is working assiduously with the Ministry of Finance, the Customs Department, Barbados Port Inc and the relevant border agencies to resolve our border challenges.
“As Minister responsible for bankruptcy matters, commerce, small business, entrepreneurship and trade facilitation, my ministry is working with key Government agencies to improve Barbados’ global doing business and competitiveness ranking and to place the Barbadian economy on a stronger and more sustained trajectory of economic growth and development,” Sutherland promised.
One area where Barbados performed creditably was in the area of resolving insolvency, where it was ranked 34th out of 190 economies worldwide.
He said under the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme, Government had already undertaken several trade facilitation reforms.
These include the reorganisation of the Customs and Excise Department, the implementation of a Trusted Trader programme and a fully operational Electronic Single Window (ESW) which will significantly improve the island’s doing business ranking and compliance to the Trade Facilitation Agreement.
Sutherland said Government was committed to implementing the Trusted Trader programme and the ESW by December 31, 2019.