11 December 2012

Burundi Investors Appreciate Reforms

Arusha — Louis Ntibuberwa is one of many Burundian entrepreneurs who are hopeful about Burundi's path of business reform has managed to establish his second business in one day and was able to do this from one-stop shop.

"I created my second company in a single day and in one place," Ntibuberwa said. "Imagine that. And for me, this is a reason to hope."

Burundi is lauded as one of the top ten doing business 2013 report reformersfor making startup processes easier and faster for businessmen like Ntibuberwa which is no small feat for a country that emerged from civil war in just the last decade.

Burundi in the year 2010 asked for help to spur investment and create jobs and the bank responded by signing an agreement to support ongoing investment climate reforms through 2014, according to the World Bank group private sector development specialist Laurent Corthay.

He said in a statement sent to East African Business Week that the country's investment climate program is aimed at spurring investment and job creation through reforms in areas such as protecting investors and starting a business, which now takes a maximum of eight days.

"Company registration was previously very onerous and complicated but other reforms currently include lowering the time needed for, and costs of paying business taxes and obtaining construction permits, simplifying taxes for smaller businesses, and improving competitiveness in key sectors such as agribusiness and tourism," he explained adding that the reforms are also helping Burundi integrate more deeply into the East Africa Community, which it joined in 2007.

The World Bank Doing Business report 2013 shows that Burundi's commitment to improving the investment climate is strong and that is why the country has been recognized as one of doing business' top 10 most improved economies for the second year in a row.

He said that the reforms have advanced sectors that are especially critical in a postwar economy.

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