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Compete Caribbean Contributes to Jamaica’s 27 Place Jump in World Bank Rankings

Kingston, Jamaica, October 28, 2014 – Jamaica is number one in the Caribbean on the ease of doing business as determined by the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2015.

Jamaica’s ranking was upgraded from 85 out of 189 countries in 2014, to 58 out of 189 countries in the recently released 2015 report. This was the greatest improvement registered in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2015.

This progress is related to a number of positive reforms in the areas of: Legal rights of borrowers and lenders, improving credit information systems, improved regulation of connection processes and costs making it easier to get electricity, simplified post-registration procedures (tax registration, social security and licensing).

To this end, Compete Caribbean is elated to have supported the Government of Jamaica through technical assistance grants to the tune of approximately USD1.2 million. This support led to the implementation of key reforms including the drafting of legislation to facilitate movable collateral, and is crucial to alleviating one of the top business constraints in the country – access to finance.

Compete’s assistance also included the design and establishment of the Security Interests in the Personal Property Registry (secured transactions registry), as well as the institutional strengthening of the Companies Office of Jamaica where the registry resides.

Additionally, the Program financed the blueprint and development of an institutional framework for public-private partnerships; new tax collection forms and tax expenditure reports. The Jamaica government also received Compete’s help with promotion of its Business Start-up Super Form.

These notable achievements have paved the road for additional business climate activities in the country. Currently, Compete Caribbean is contributing to the design and development of insolvency and venture capital legislations, as well as crafting a diagnostic and assisting with the implementation of the Jamaica Medical Tourism strategy.

The Program’s contribution complements a larger initiative totaling USD150m executed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) focused on promoting reforms that expand access to credit and reduce distortions in Jamaica’s tax system, reduce Jamaican Government participation in inefficient enterprises and projects, and lower business costs through more efficient land titling and registration.

Compete Caribbean and its donors – IDB, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Government of Canada (the Government of Canada) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) – congratulates the Government of Jamaica on this remarkable accomplishment and reinforces its commitment to supporting private sector development in the Caribbean.

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Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Government of Canada (the Government of Canada), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.

Contacts: For Further information, contact: Communications Officer, Karen Mahy, kmahy@iadb.org

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