Bhutan has risen by a record 54 places from 125th position in 2014 to the 71st place in 2015 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index. Bhutan had ranked 141st in 2013.
Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay said this was possible only because of all the hard work the government put in.
He said, “The Ministry of Economic Affairs has been on this and the government has taken this as a matter of higher priority.”
Every minister was given the responsibility to take care of at least one of area’s of the ten different areas. Moreover a task force of civil servants was formed and they worked very closely with the World Bank to improve the business environment in Bhutan.
The PM said the 54 places jump in the rankings is the biggest by any country till date.
“The71st position means that foreign potential investors would see Bhutan more favorably; they would be interested to do business in Bhutan as the environment is quite favorable here and more importantly Bhutanese investors will understand that the business environment in Bhutan is very comfortable and infact it is the best in South Asia,” said the PM.
The PM said that to keep Bhutan growing the government will try to eliminate as many bottle necks as possible. “We want to continue to rise up in ranking” he said. The PM also mentioned that the Bhutanese people will benefit.
Lyonchhen said that the evaluation was done by a third party and not the government and so their assessment is considered a lot more critical.
“It is an indication of what can be done. With this we have scope for improving all public services. If Bhutan can improve in an area that is as complicated as doing business then there is no excuse for not improving in other areas like education, healthcare, roads and all public sectors. We have to aspire to improve service delivery in all the sectors so we can develop as a country,” said the PM.
“Bhutan has been advancing steadily in recent years in improving its regulatory environment and making it more business friendly. In doing so, the country can stimulate both entrepreneurship and job creation for its population,” said Genevieve Boyreau, the World Bank’s Country Representative for Bhutan.
Bhutan instituted two reforms during the past year. In Getting Electricity, Bhutan made it easier for entrepreneurs to connect to the grid by speeding up the process for obtaining a new connection. Five years ago, it took an entrepreneur 93 days to get electricity, now it only takes 61- less time than in France.
Bhutan also implemented a reform in the Registering Property indicator through which transferring property has been streamlined by introducing a computerized land information system, decreasing the time to complete a transfer by 15 days.
This year’s Doing Business report completes a two-year effort to expand benchmarks that measure the quality of regulation, as well as efficiency of the business regulatory framework, in order to better capture realities on the ground.
In this report, five indicators saw positive changes – Dealing with Construction Permits, Getting Electricity, Enforcing Contracts, Registering Property and Trading Across Borders.
The government had promised that Bhutan would be in the top 100 countries list on the ease of doing business index by 2015.