Too many bottlenecks, laments ICAB
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) is calling on the Government to urgently address issues affecting the ease of doing business on the island.
Pointing out that Barbados had slipped three places in the latest World Bank Doing Business ranking from 103 to 106 out of the 189 countries surveyed, ICAB’s executive director Reginald Farley said one of the major issues, as the Government struggles to close its deficit, was “the general efficiency of our system”.
Farley stressed that while the conversation about the island achieving economic growth this year was focused on the fiscal deficit there were other macro economic indicators that should be addressed.
“Part of our national strategy, just as important as fixing the fiscal deficit and other macro indicators, has to be to become of the most efficient, welcoming places to do business in the world because there are competitors for investment dollars. To achieve growth in 2015 will depend as much on fixing these efficiency issues,” Farley told reporters at an ICAB media conference yesterday.
Questioning why some Government offices were not open for extended hours or did not have an online platform to conduct business, Farley said while they were not a part of the fiscal deficit problem they were still important to help attract more investment and cutting costs in both the private and public sectors.
Meanwhile, ICAB’s Vice President Andrew Brathwaite suggested that Barbados look at other countries, especially those in the region, that were ranked better in the ease of doing business index and learn from them.
Singling out the Town and Country Planning Department for the time it took for them to approve a construction project, as well as the registering of property and preparing titles, Brathwaite said there was “a lot of room for improvement”.
He said while some progress was being made in some areas, including renewable energy expansion, there were “too many structural and institutional bottlenecks” that were hindering foreign investment.