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South African state is reforming business processes to make trade processes easier

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The government is making concerted efforts to improve its international ranking in terms of the ease of doing business in the country, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Thursday.

He said the government was committed to improving the investment climate and the ease of doing business in order to enhance SA’s status as a competitive investment location. Plans were under way for the government to reform its business processes to improve the country’s rankings.

SA was ranked 72nd among 89 countries in the 2016 World Bank’s Doing Business Report and 74th out of 190 countries in the 2017 report.

The country fared better in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2016-2017, ranking 47th out of 138 countries.

It was ranked number one in the index for financing through local equity market, the strength of its auditing and reporting standards and the protection of the interests of minority shareholders’ interests. SA came second in terms of the soundness of its banks; and third for the regulation of securities exchanges and the efficacy of corporate boards.

Davies said in a written response to a parliamentary question by DA trade and industry spokesperson Geordin Hill Lewis that Investment SA (a division in the Department of Trade and Industry) and Treasury had formalised a relationship with the World Bank and had arranged workshops with government departments and agencies to understand the methodology and criteria used by the World Bank team.

Investment SA was also working on a memorandum on the criteria used to assess the ease of doing business indicators. He noted that over the years the World Bank’s Doing Business Report had evolved with new countries been added and changes made to the methodology and criteria used.

The 2017 report expanded the indicator for the payment of taxes to cover post filing processes, tax audits, tax refunds and tax appeals. For the first time it also added a gender component to three indicators namely, starting a business, registering property and enforcing contracts.

Davies said the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission had made strides in easing and expediting the process of company registration.

Registrations for South African companies with a maximum of three directors could now be registered within a day compared with the previous 5-7 days, while foreign company registrations could be finalised between 5-7 days compared with the previous 21 working days.

The Department of Home Affairs had also partnered with banks for the roll-out of smart IDs and passports, which could be issued within a turnaround time of five working days.

Investment SA was co-ordinating the establishment and operationalisation of a one-stop shop for investors, which would be launched in the current financial year.

Bron: Businessday (2016, 10-11-2016).http://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/business-and-economy/2016-11-10-state-is-reforming-business-processes-to-make-it-easier-to-trade-in-sa-davies-says/

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