Reforms Needed to Make Country More Competitive

October 8, 2004

STARTING a business, hiring or firingpersonnel, closing a business andother related procedures generally takelonger in Costa Rica than in other LatinAmerican countries and most developedcountries, according to a recent report bythe World Bank.“Doing Business in 2005: RemovingObstacles to Growth” is a global surveyof laws and reforms to business regulationsin 145 countries, conducted by theWorld Bank’s International FinanceCorporation.The report points out that to start anew business in Costa Rica, entrepreneursmust go through 11 steps that takeon average 77 days to complete.Entrepreneurs in other LatinAmerican and Caribbean countries onaverage must go through 11 steps, whichtake 70 days. In countries that form partof the Organization for EconomicCooperation and Development (OECD) –a group of 30 countries that includes theworld’s richest economies – entrepreneursmust conduct an average of sixsteps, which take 25 days.In Costa Rica, it is harder to hire orfire personnel and change their workinghours than most Latin American,Caribbean and OECD countries, accordingto the report.It takes three and a half years to closea business in Costa Rica, compared to anaverage of approximately one year andeight months in OECD countries andthree years and eight months in LatinAmerican and Caribbean countries.Last year, rich countries on averageconducted three times as many reforms totheir investment regimes as poor countries.European countries led the way interms of reforms, according to the report.

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