The Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) provided clarification in a statement, on their role in Namibia's Ease of Doing Business Index, as released annually by the World Bank.
According to BIPA the period of 2008 to 2020, Namibia's aggregated average ranking stood at 91.7 on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index. "The country reached an all time low when it ranked 108 on the index in 2016, with its best performance at position 54 in 2008 and the latest 2020 rating places Namibia in position 104 of 190 economies," they added.
They further explained that influencing Namibia's placing are indicators that include starting a business, dealing with construction permits, access to electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labour market regulation.
"From 2019 to 2020, Namibia performed worse in 7 of the 10 indicators and improved its rating in some categories," added the Authority.
According to the World Bank's 2020 statistics, it effectively took 54 days to start a business in Namibia. Of the 54 days, BIPA contributed 21 days, and the balance of 33 days was contributed to by the relevant banking institution, the municipality, the Ministry of Finance, the Social Security Commission and the Workmen's Compensation Commission.
"The time it takes to register a business with BIPA improved from 33 days in 2019 to 21 days in 2020 and the improvement can be attributed to the authority improving its turnaround time on name reservation approvals from 18 days in 2019 to 6 days in 2020," explained the Authority.
They said this achievement is significant, given that BIPA suffered numerous challenges posed by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 such as personnel shortages and reduced income. "We foresee a further improvement in the 'Starting a business' indicator of the Ease of Doing Business Index, as BIPA's latest statistics show that the authority now processes name reservation within 3 days," they emphasised.
In conclusion the Authority said it is worth considering that they play an important, but limited role in the overall index of Namibia's Ease of Doing Business ranking, but, they remain confident that their service delivery will further improve, thereby enhancing the country's performance in the index.