By Abigayle McIntosh
To enhance the ease of doing business in Antigua and Barbuda, a senior figure at the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA) is exploring the concept of fostering collaboration among the key sectors of the economy.
The twin-island nation has been declining in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking.
According to the latest annual ratings from the World Bank, Antigua and Barbuda currently stands at 113th place out of 190 economies, down from 112th place in 2018.
The Ease of Doing Business index assesses countries based on the business-friendly nature of their regulatory environment and the protection of property rights. Countries with higher ranks (1 to 20) typically have more straightforward and more accommodating business regulations.
Garfield Joseph, who recently assumed the role of Executive Director at ABIA, has put forth a proposal to develop a comprehensive toolkit.
This toolkit would serve as a resource to navigate the intricacies of the business registration process.
Joseph envisions this system being implemented online, streamlining the experience for prospective business owners and eliminating unnecessary hassles.
However, Joseph emphasizes that achieving this vision will necessitate active cooperation from representatives across various sectors of the economy.”
“It requires an ecosystem where we are all speaking to each other and collaborating with one another. I would say that we have great collaborators in government departments and so forth, but we need to do more of the same. Government by its nature tends to be bureaucratic however we need to empower people and we need to reduce friction to make it faster, easier, and better.
“We can’t do it alone but in partnership with the Employers Federation in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, we partner together it helps three ways, 1 it helps to reduce their operating expenses of having to put on smaller courses with smaller numbers, and we are able to partner and leverage because ultimately our country is going to be as competitive as our people capabilities access to technology,” he said.
Joseph also pointed out that one of the first things that he did after assuming the position was to meet with private sector partners indicating an interest in collaborating more in areas of training and other areas to further build capacity.