The World Bank’s latest rating puts The Bahamas at 121 among 190 economies when it comes to the ease of doing business and according to Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis that leaves The Bahamas with a lot of work to do to catchup.
Nations like Jamaica ranked 67, Saint Lucia, 86, Trinidad and Tobago, 96 and The Dominican Republic, 103.
Prime Minister Minnis’ comments came while he addressed the opening session of The National Conclave of Commerce in The Bahamas’ two day workshop yesterday at the Grand Hyatt Convention Center at Baha Mar.
“Much of the decline in the ease of doing business in The Bahamas is due to inertia. Countries around us are rapidly instituting changes and simplifying processes to make it easier for businesses to operate,” he said.
“But The Bahamas has been slow to modernize, slow to adapt to change, slow to introduce certain innovations, and slow to embrace various technologies.”
In fact, he said he believed that all the red tape attached to doing business in the country heavily affects foreign direct investments, charging that the former administration consistently failed to respond in a timely manner.
“Because time is money, the amount of time it has taken The Bahamas to respond to various investors has likely cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars at minimum,” he said.
“Easing the cost and time of doing business will help boost economic growth.”
Echoing a recurring sentiment of outgoing BCCEC’S Chairman Gowon Bowe, Prime Minister Minnis also bemoaned the way residents are forced to conduct business transactions.
“In the age of advanced computer algorithms and Smart Technology, waiting weeks or even months for the processing of certain documents or approvals must be a thing of the past,” he said.
“The business licence process takes too long and must be shortened. The inertia in the process must be removed.”