23 October 2012

Rwanda Is Third Easiest Economy to Do Business - 2013 World Bank Report

Photo: New Times
Stock markets (file photo).

Rwanda has been ranked best performing country in the East African region as well as third easiest place to do business in Sub-Saharan Africa by the 2013 World Bank Doing Business Report. The report released yesterday also ranks Rwanda 52nd out of 185 countries in the report.

In Africa, Mauritius which ranks 19th globally comes first, followed by South Africa which ranks 39th globally. Fourth is Botswana at 59th globally and Ghana which comes in at 64th globally. Singapore leads the rankings globally, followed by Hong Kong and New Zealand.

In comparison to her neighbors in the East African region, Rwanda still leads with Uganda is the second position (120th globally), Kenya the third in EAC (121st globally), Tanzania is fourth (134th globally) whereas Burundi comes fifth (159th globally).

According to the survey; 185 Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business. A high rank on the ease of doing business index means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.

Titled "Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises," the Doing Business 2013 report assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in the selected economies and ranks them in ten areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders.

The report, the 10 edition of the doing business series covers data from June 2011 to May 2012.

According to Rwanda Development Board, Rwanda stands out because it has consistently improved since 2005.

"A case study in this year's report features Rwanda, which since 2005 has implemented 26 regulatory reforms (over half of Sub-Saharan Africa's annual reforms) as recorded by Doing Business," a statement from RDB says.

Rwanda has been recognized for making improvements in two areas of regulations: Enforcing Contracts (39th) and Getting Electricity (49th).

"The country made enforcing contracts easier by implementing an electronic filing system for initial complaints whereas the country eased getting electricity by reducing the cost of obtaining a new connection by 30%," the statement reads.

Rwanda's ranking per indicator has improved. Looking at areas where Rwanda is still strong, the Starting a Business rank has remained the 8th easiest in the world, with Company registration taking only two procedures and the whole process of incorporation is concluded in just 6 hours. In ease of Paying Taxes, Rwanda is 25th easiest place globally.

Beyond the Doing Business index, Rwanda's performance is consistent with the World Economic Forum (WEF) Competitiveness index where for the second year running, Rwanda emerged among the top countries (3rd) in Sub-Sahara Africa. The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) is based on 12 indicators that include the strength of the economy, education and social welfare, innovation among others.

Trade and Industry Minister Hon. Kanimba Francois welcomed the report. "We have seen consistent improvement, both in competitiveness and ease of doing business. Rwanda continues to be one of the top places to invest in Africa," he affirms.

"For all these records, Rwanda's performance in this year's index is a sign of the country's commitment to achieving its economic goals," said Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Executive Officer at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB). "This demonstrates Rwanda's commitment and consistency in its vision of economic development. We will work very hard to address remaining challenges to make Rwanda even more attractive as a business destination," she added.

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