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Small Islands
Doing Business in Small Island Developing States 2009

Authors: Svetlana Bagaudinova, Mema Beye, Marie Delion and Kjartan Fjeldsted

Published: November 12, 2008

Overview

Doing Business in Small Island Developing States 2009 finds that a third of small island developing states (SIDS) introduced regulatory reform to make doing business easier in the past year. At the same time, island nations currently boast some of the world’s most efficient practices.

The report  is the second in a series to examine the performance of 33 small island states—from Antigua and Barbuda to Vanuatu—using Doing Business indicators. The report draws on data from the global Doing Business project and database, as well as the findings of Doing Business 2009. Despite their differences, SIDS share features that can make them economically vulnerable—such as isolation, lack of economies of scale, high transportation and communication costs, vulnerability to natural disasters and challenging infrastructure development. This study homes in on best regulatory practices and reforms that can lead to increased business activity and employment in island economies.

Main Findings

  • The island of Singapore is the easiest place to do business in the world, while Guinea-Bissau is the third hardest. The remaining 31 fall somewhere in between. Notably, Mauritius—now number 2 among SIDS and number 24 globally—moved closer to its goal of entering the global top-10 with reforms in 3 indicators last year.
  • At the same time, the Dominican Republic—number 23 among SIDS and 97 globally—emerged as the top SIDS reformer as well as a top-10 global reformer with a new online facility for company registration, reduced costs for company registrations, lower corporate tax burdens and easier trade procedures.