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Rwanda is 3rd easiest economy to do business in Sub-Saharan Africa - World Bank Doing Business index 2013

Kigali - Rwanda's performance in the Doing Business Rankings in recent years has been exemplary, drawing attention from international observers and investors alike. Improvements have been made across the board. The 2013 World Bank Doing Business Report has ranked Rwanda 52nd out of 185 countries. In the overall performance, Rwanda is still the best performing country in the East African region as well as 3rd easiest place to do business in Sub-Saharan Africa (1st is Mauritius which ranks 19th globally, 2nd is South Africa which ranks 39th globally, 3rd is Rwanda which ranks 52nd globally, 4th is Botswana at 59th globally and 5th is Ghana which ranks 64th globally. A non-Sub-Saharan African country that also performed well was Tunisia at the 50th position globally.

According to the survey; 185 Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business. A high rank on the ease of doing business index means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.

The report, Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises found that from June 2011 to June 2012, 28 of 46 governments in Sub-Saharan Africa implemented at least one regulatory reform making it easier to do business-a total of 44 reforms. Rwanda particularly stands out as having consistently improved since 2005. A case study in this year's report features Rwanda, which since 2005 has implemented 26 regulatory reforms (over half of Sub-Saharan Africa's annual reforms) as recorded by Doing Business.

Rwanda has been recognized for making improvements in two areas of regulations: Enforcing Contracts (39th) and Getting Electricity (49th). The country made enforcing contracts easier by implementing an electronic filing system for initial complaints whereas the country eased getting electricity by reducing the cost of obtaining a new connection by 30%. Rwanda's ranking per indicator has improved. Looking at areas where Rwanda is still strong, the Starting a Business rank has remained the 8th easiest in the world, with Company registration taking only two procedures and the whole process of incorporation is concluded in just 6 hours.  In ease of Paying Taxes, Rwanda is 25th easiest place globally.

Rwanda recognizes that the momentum to reform should be maintained if not doubled and in particular where we have challenges. This is precisely why Rwanda managed to improve over the last ten years. Rwanda has moved from 150th in the 2008 report to now 52nd in the 2013 report with consistent reforms every single year.

In comparison to her neighbors in the East African region, Rwanda still leads her partner states. Uganda is the second in EAC ranked at 120th globally, Kenya the third in EAC and ranked at 121st globally, Tanzania is fourth and ranked at 134th globally whereas Burundi comes fifth in EAC and ranked at 159th globally. Outside the EAC, but neighboring Rwanda is the DRC ranked at 181st globally.

Beyond the Doing Business index, Rwanda's performance is consistent with the World Economic Forum (WEF) Competitiveness index where for the second year running, Rwanda emerged among the top countries (3rd) in Sub-Sahara Africa. The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) is based on 12 indicators that include the strength of the economy, education and social welfare, innovation among others.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Kanimba Francois welcomed the report. "We have seen consistent improvement, both in competitiveness and ease of doing business. Rwanda continues to be one of the top places to invest in Africa," he affirms.

"For all these records, Rwanda's performance in this year's index is a sign of the country's commitment to achieving its economic goals," said Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Executive Officer at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB). "This demonstrates Rwanda's commitment and consistency in its vision of economic development. We will work very hard to address remaining challenges to make Rwanda even more attractive as a business destination," she added.

 Note to Editors:

  • Rwanda's commitment to private sector development has facilitated growth in exports, domestic investment and foreign direct investment inflows-and the implementation of effective fiscal policies supported by structural and institutional reforms.
  •  Starting in 2000, Rwanda developed a strong institutional pipeline for designing and implementing business regulation reforms.
  •  Since 2004 Rwanda has substantially improved access to credit, streamlined procedures for starting a business, reduced the time to register property, simplified cross-border trade and made courts more accessible for resolving commercial disputes.
  • Rwanda is among more than 35 economies where the Executive branch has made private sector development a priority by establishing institutions whose main purpose is to design and implement business regulation reforms.
  • Every year, the World Bank recalculates ranks to take into account methodology improvements, new data and new countries being assessed (like Barbados and Malta). This is because each country must have a baseline. Also, when a country is assessed for the first time, or when a new indicator is assessed (such as Rwanda's in closing a business, it must be recalculated as if the data were available the previous year), that's why Rwanda is ranked 168th in 2012 and 167th in 2013 report. It therefore does not mean that there is anything done to affect the indicators.
  • This year, Rwanda implemented new reforms in 9 out of 10 indicators that the World Bank is yet to consider in the near future. The reform agenda is a no retreat matter thus reforms in our legal sector are on record. Rwanda has reformed 26 business laws and brought them to international standards. This is one of the reasons as to why this year, the World Bank made special mention in the DB report and dedicated a special report on Rwanda in a theme titled, "Rwanda Fostering Prosperity by promoting Entrepreneurship". This report can be sourced at;

http://doingbusiness.org/~/media/GIAWB/Doing%20Business/Documents/Annual-Reports/English/DB13-Chapters/DB13-CS-Rwanda.pdf  

  • Additionally, our introduction of e-filing of cases in our judicial system in particular commercial courts has made it faster to resolve commercial disputes making us the 39th fastest in the world.

We are in constant consultations with the private sector to see what best works for them and encourage dialogue, including through the recently launched Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) platform. For the Rwandan Government, reforms are a continuous effort, always taking the next step.

RDB through its Doing Business Unit is open to anyone with queries or concerns regarding the World Bank Doing Business index. You can reach us by email: doingbusiness@rdb.rw or physically visit the office at the RDB Head Office, first floor.

 Ends

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