Business climate improves sharply in Cape Verde and Mozambique

8 November 2010

Macau, China, 8 Nov – The business climate in Cape Verde and Mozambique improved sharply over the last year and more moderately in Portugal and Angola, according to the latest “Doing Business” ranking published by the World Bank.

In the list, which was published last week, Cape Verde rose by 10 places compared to last year, to 132nd, out of 183 countries, which placed the archipelago amongst the top 10 countries to show improvement in the last year.

The improvement was achieved mainly due to the computerisation of the licensing system, which made it easier to register property (rise of 27 places to 104th), and the start of business activities (19 places to 120th).

Another factor, the World Bank said, was the abolition of some fees, which allowed for some fiscal improvements (40 places to 100th).

Cape Verde is one of only three sub-Saharan African countries to be included in the Top 10 of reformers, together with Rwanda and Zambia.

In terms of State Reform, the Cape Verdean authorities introduced the “Company on the Day” programme to make it easier and reduce the cost of opening up a business.

Also thanks to making it easier to start businesses, Mozambique saw a rise of 4 places in the ranking from 130th to 126th, the second-best performance amongst Portuguese-speaking nations.

“Mozambique made it easier to open companies, introducing a simplified licensing process,” the World Bank said.

In 2010, the country had already made positives steps in this respect, at that time for eliminating minimum starting capital requirements for new companies.

Over the last year it also made improvements in its customs services, making goods transit easier.

Mozambique achieved high grades in investor protection (44th place overall) and opening companies (65th place), but was penalised by bureaucracy in granting construction licenses (155th place) and property registration (144th).

Portugal is the Portuguese-speaking country ranked highest in the list (31st), having risen two places mainly thanks to improvements in property registration.

Angola saw a rise of one place, but remains at a low ranking on the World Bank’s list, in 163rd place.

The survey ranked the Angolan economy as one of the worst in the world in terms of contractual obligations (181st) and property registration (174th), despite a relatively high grade in terms of investor protection (59th).

The Portuguese-speaking country ranked lowest on the list was Sao Tome and Principe, in 178th, mainly due to a significant setback in the ease with which companies can be started (37 places to 177th).

Despite this, Sao Tome managed improvements in fiscal terms, a category in which it rose 25 places to 135th.

A little further below this was Guinea Bissau, which fell by one place against last year to 176th.

Despite improvements in terms of construction licenses, the Guinean economy was at the bottom of the list in terms of opening and closing companies (183rd for both) and property registration (175th).

East Timor remained in the same position as last year – 174th – despite seeing a drop of 45 places in terms of construction licenses.

The country remains amongst the top 20 in the world in fiscal terms, according to the World Bank.

The biggest Portuguese-speaking economy, Brazil, fell three places in the ranking year on year to 127th, due to a 16-place fall in the international trade category.

Despite this it saw improvements in the category of opening companies, specifically in terms of electronic synchronisation between the tax authorities of each state and the federal government, the World Bank noted. (macauhub)