By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The private sector aims to tackle the Bahamas’ declining ‘ease of doing business’ rankings “head on” next month when all this nation’s Chambers of Commerce gather for their annual conclave.
Edison Sumner, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation’s (BCCEC) chief executive, told Tribune Business that the Government and the private sector must work together to overcome the ‘ease of doing business’ challenge.
He added that the Chambers’ national conclave and annual general meeting, scheduled for May 16-17, will focus on the ‘ease of doing business’.
“This is not just about the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ rankings,” said Mr Sumner. “This is about trying to come up with real solutions and recommendations which, when implemented, can bring real change and real relief to the business community.”
The Bahamas was ranked 122nd out of 190 nations in the World Bank’s 2016 Ease of Doing Business rankings.
The drop in the ‘paying taxes’ ease as a result of VAT, from 22nd in the world to 95th, was cited as the main reason why this nation failed to improve its overall position.
“We see this as not just a government issue, although the Government will be held responsible for the state of the economy, but a national issue,” Mr Sumner said.
“There has to be partnership between the Government and the private sector to resolve these issues. It is important for businesses to feel as though they are in an environment where they can succeed and be profitable.
“It is going to take solid and sustained partnership between the private sector and the Government to grow the economy. The ‘ease of doing business’ is a very important issue, and we are addressing it head on. We hope that from the upcoming conclave that we will be able to produce an actionable report that will give us some momentum in the country.”