MOB to improve environment for conducting business in 2017

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, January 23, 2017

In keeping with the government’s vision to create an enabling environment for business, Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin said that throughout 2017 the Ministry of Business will provide support and facilitate the execution of critical reforms in areas identified in various reports and assessments of Guyana. “The environment in which we expect Guyana’s economic achievements to take place is of critical importance and must be an enabling one”, Minister Gaskin said.

Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin

The Minister said that in 2016, the Ministry of Business made a commitment to improve the business environment so that private businesses operating in Guyana could do so in an efficient and cost effective manner, thereby making them more profitable and more competitive.

In order to significantly improve the ease of doing business in Guyana as well as to improve Guyana’s ranking in the ‘Doing Business Index’, the Business Minister said that it is expected that these reforms will last well into the year 2018 and thereafter will have to be constantly reviewed to maintain the gains that Guyana will have to achieve.

Minister Gaskin said that one area of intervention that is expected to transform trade transactions in Guyana is the Single Window processing system which will automate the processes of a number of government agencies involved in trade facilitation and make them more efficient and less prone to interference.

The Business Minister said that the Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan referred to this intervention in his 2017 budget presentation and an interagency steering committee is in place to see this transformational initiative become a reality in 2018. This will follow the deployment of the Guyana Revenue Authority’s Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) system with which it will have to be integrated.

Minister Gaskin said that through collaboration with the World Bank team, Information Communication Technology (ICT) assessments and Legal assessments have already been completed in the areas of Starting a Business, Registering Property and Trading across Borders.

The Ministry of Business is also examining the processing of construction permits, with technical assistance from the United Kingdom (UK) Government. This is an area where Guyana has ranked badly over the last few years, as well as the area of getting electricity in which slight gains were made in the last recent ‘Doing Business Index’ report. Guyana has already improved its world ranking by sixteen places in the last report, Minister Gaskin said.

Additionally, the Minister said that his Ministry initiated collaboration with the World Bank to address directly the indicators where Guyana ranked badly on the 2016 ‘Doing Business Index’. Over the next few years work will be carried out towards correcting the deficiencies that placed Guyana at a disadvantage in attracting investors and that place businesses at a disadvantage when operating in Guyana, Minister Gaskin said.

 

By: Gabreila Patram

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