Brazil and Cabo Verde introduce reforms to the business environment but fail to prevent a decline in World Bank index

Brazil and Cabo Verde were among the countries to introduce the most reforms throughout 2018 to improve their business environment, although this was not enough to prevent their decline in the World Bank benchmark index.

In the “Doing Business 2020” index, published at the end of October, Brazil, the largest economy in the Portuguese-speaking world, fell eight places to 124th after its previous ranking, which placed it at 109th place, was revised by the World Bank, as happened for many other countries, to 116th place.

The index assesses the evolution of ten indicators to analyse the business environment of 190 countries, including the cost of starting a business and the difficulty in obtaining electricity or paying taxes.

Among the advances pointed out in Brazil is easier business registration and reduced costs of the digital certificate required for registration.

Improvements in reducing bureaucracy for property registration were also highlighted, with the adoption of electronic payment systems in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Cabo Verde is also highlighted by the World Bank as one of the countries to introduce the most reforms, specifically by facilitating business start-ups by granting municipal licenses before inspections.

Other reforms introduced by the Cape Verdean authorities were related to building permits, which are now easier to secure due to investments in the geographic information and geo-referencing database, lower-cost electricity as well as property registration, which is now faster following a review of administrative procedures and better quality land administration.

However, Cabo Verde also saw its competitiveness regress, dropping six places in the index to 137th.

This also happened with Angola, which fell from 173rd in 2018 to 177th in the latest edition of the index, and to Mozambique, which fell from 135th to 138th.

São Tomé and Príncipe remained in 170th place, while Guinea-Bissau slightly improved from 175th to 174th.

Timor-Leste, in 181st place, was negatively highlighted for having introduced social security contributions borne by employers, making the tax environment more costly.

Portugal continued on the downward trend of the last four years, falling five places, to 39th (16 places below its ranking in 2015).

China was one of the countries that made the greatest gains in the index (from 46th to 31st), as a result of reforms in eight of the ten areas analysed by the World Bank. (Macauhub)

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