Latin America was one of the highlights of the World Bank Group’s annual report, Doing Business, this year. A survey that aims to investigate the business environment around the world, Doing Business unveils the regulations enhancing the business activity as well as those stifling it.
Among some of the focus points in this year’s report, Latin America and the Caribbean performed best in the areas of Getting Electricity, registering an average rank of 92, and Getting Credit, ranking at 94. On the other hand, in domains such as Paying Taxes, Registering Property and Protecting Minority Investors; the region underperformed when compared to other economies.
In effect, these figures mean that the average time for an entrepreneur to connect to the electricity grid in the region, for instance, would be 66 days, against 86 days in the global average. However, when it comes to legal tax obligations, the time to comply with these rules in the region is on average, 330 hours per year, while in OECD high-income economies, the same average is of 159 hours. The time to register a property in Latam and Caribbean countries also appears under the global average, as it takes 63 days to do so in the region, against an average deadline of 20 days in OECD high-income economies.
But what really drew the attention concerning the region was Mexico’s performance, as the country was featured in the 54th place, being the highest-ranked economy in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Following Mexico; Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Costa Ricca appeared in 64th, 65th, and 67th places respectively.
In general lines, 18 out of the 32 economies in the region implemented at least one regulatory reform, turning the ecosystem more suitable to do business in this past year. While Brazil reduced the time required for import documentary compliance by introducing electronic certificates of origin; Peru, for instance, introduced measures to strengthen construction quality control and facilitated the process of starting a new business for entrepreneurs.
Overall, 25 reforms were implemented in the region according to the report, comprising, mainly, the indicators called “Starting a Business” and “Getting Credit”. This last indicator, which stands for the credit reporting systems, also drew attention in the case of Latam countries, as Colombia and Mexico ranked in the top twenty due to their comprehensive credit reporting systems.