Namibia’s ranking on the World Bank Group’s annual Ease of Doing Business Report has improved slightly to 106 in 2017 compared to 108 last year.
Notable improvements cited by the report is that Namibia made enforcing contracts easier by introducing an electronic filing system and an electronic case management system for the use of judges and lawyers.
Namibia maintained her ranking within the now 16 SADC member states at rank seven. In 2014 and 2016 Namibia ranked sixth, while in 2015 the country ranked fifth. “The bare improvement of Namibia’s 2017 ease of doing business ranking, however, recovered only some ground the country has lost since 2012 when Namibia was ranked 78,” commented, Klaus Schade, Executive Director of the Economic Association of Namibia.
“The ranking indicates that considerable efforts are required to become the most competitive economy in SADC, let alone on the continent,” Schade said.
Namibia was ranked 172 in terms of the time it takes to start a business. It takes 10 procedures to register a business in Namibia, a process that can take 66 days.
The country got a score of 68,9 on the ease of starting a business on the ranking scale of 0 to 100. In terms of dealing with construction permits, Namibia ranked 107, a process that takes 120 days.
In terms of getting electricity, Namibia ranked 68, a process that takes 37 days.
The reliability of electricity supply is considerably better rated this year at 6 out of 8 last year, which led to a much-improved ranking of 68 up from 124 last year.
In terms of registering property, Namibia ranked 175, a process that takes a gruelling 52 days.
Schade said of concern is the drop in ranking regarding ‘Dealing with construction permits’ by 40 places to rank 107 this year. The reasons are an increase in the number of procedures, 12 steps up from 10 and consequently an increase in the number of days it takes to get the permit, 160 days compared to 137 last year.
“Given the high prices for residential property and the contraction in the construction industry, these areas warrant urgent attention,” Schade said.
He was also concerned that the ranking in terms of trading across borders dropped five ranks to rank 132 simply because other countries improved and moved forward, while time and costs of imports and exports have not changed for Namibia.
The improvement is in contrast to the decline in competitiveness according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-18 that was released in September 2017.
According to that report, Namibia dropped six places to 90.