Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Which City in Africa is Considered Best for Business? Continued.

I was hoping by now to have an answer for you. Or at least to be able to tell you that I am hot on the trail. But I have started my search and so far it has not been very easy...to say the least. This is beginning to turn into a long term project, which is not a bad thing. However, in all honesty this project is 10 times bigger than I expected. But, we are not running from this one...

For starters, I am not finding one single source for researching this information; although it must be out there somewhere. So the answers are presenting themselves to me in ways that beg more questions:

  • Instead of "what is the best city in Africa for doing business?"
  • It is "what city in Africa is best for let's say the IT or maybe the industrial businesses?"
  • Then we might want to know if the city that fits well with IT business do well with all sizes of companies?
Perhaps thatt is how we will present the findings- by industry and business size. If you have suggestions, please let us know. In the meantime, the search continues...

Of course, I love your comments. But, if you can't comment at this particular time- but would like to let us know that you were here; please sign and View my guestbook


Elaine said...

check these out

Singapore has gained the top place in a World Bank ranking of the best places to do business while "idiotic" regulations consigned a clutch of African countries to bottom of the league.

The Bank's "Doing Business 2007" report underlined that straightforward changes, like enabling investors to set up a company online, could do wonders for a country's business climate and so encourage its economic growth.

Red tape plagues DRC

In contrast, a suffocating mess of red tape guaranteed last place in the rankings for the conflict-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, where to register a business, it takes 155 days and costs six times the average annual income.

"The big picture is that ... the world is getting a much better place to do business," Caralee McLeish, one of the report's authors, told journalists.

"There are countries that are reforming because they're ranking worse than their neighbours," she said, adding that international donors are increasingly tying their aid to indicators detailed in the annual report.

Singapore overtakes NZ

Singapore moved up from second place in last year's report to top overall, swapping places with New Zealand. The United States ranked third, followed by Canada and Hong Kong.

In all the high-ranking countries, an entrepreneur can register a business in days rather than months, and can usually do it online along with paying taxes and filing import and export documents.

The costs of registration are kept low, and there is little or no minimum capital required to set up a company. Property and contract rights are enforced by independent courts.

Some countries zoomed up the rankings. Georgia was the star performer, rising 75 places to 37th. Romania was the second-most improved country as it strives to join the European Union.

Georgia has undertaken ambitious reforms since the 2003 uprising that swept Mikheil Saakashvili to the presidency.

The former Soviet republic cut the minimum capital requirement ten-fold to 200 lari ($85). It now takes only 13 days to collect all the administrative documents needed to export a product, down from 54 in 2004.

As a result, the report said, business registrations have jumped 20 percent in Georgia this year from 2005.

Suriname's shame

That contrasts with the dismal picture for businesses in places like Suriname, the "world leader" for the length of time it takes to set up a business — 694 days.

The former possession of the Netherlands has never abolished a colonial-era rule that required all business registrations to be approved by the Dutch monarch. Today, the president of Suriname must give his seal of approval.

Rwanda waited until last year to scrap a law dating from colonial rule by Belgium that allowed only one legal notary in the entire country.

"Idiotic regulations"

Another of the report's authors, Simeon Djankov, said that such "idiotic regulations" were one of the main reasons for the lagging performance of the bottom-ranked countries.

Another reason is the multiple levels of bureaucracy through which would-be entrepreneurs must go before they can start trading. Each level is an opportunity for official obstruction and corruption, Djankov said.

He said the single most important reform those countries could undertake would be to emulate countries like Singapore in placing their business, tax and customs applications online.

"That makes tremendous change for very little money," Djankov said, estimating the software costs involved at a uniform $1.0-million to $2.0-million regardless of the location.

China was another top performer in the number of its reforms, although Djankov said that foreign investors still find it a frustrating place to do business and head there "because you can't disregard the size of the market".


Benin "Mwangi" said...

Elaine, thank you. That is really good information. They do have a really encompassing site touching on all of the issues.

Great timing too. This article is really appropriate and gives me more insight as to which variables make the biggest impact on fostering a favorable business environment.

I look forward to more conversation with you on this topic.

Helenism said...

How about Asmara, Eritrea? Yeah...I'm joking.


africa search