The Private Sector Federation (PSF), the umbrella organisation of the local business community, has commended government for implementing reforms that have reduced the burden of doing business in the country.
This follows the announcement for the second year running, Rwanda has ranked among one of the world’s top reformers in a World Bank report, released on Thursday.
Rwanda was ranked the 2nd best reformer in the World Bank’s “2011 Doing Business (DB)” report, moving up 12 places to 58th in the survey that ranked 183 countries in the world.
“We can feel the business climate is changing – recently I was on a tour around the country and I was amazed to see how much our entrepreneurs at the trading centre level and the district level were commending the fact that the authorities are perceiving them much better than they did previously,” Robert Bayigamba, the Chairman of PSF, told Business Times, Friday, in a sideline interview during the Government meeting with Development Partners.
As a result of the improving business environment, Bayigamba observed that the general negative perception that are the business community “school dropouts or thieves” is increasingly being watered down.
“It (business) is now viewed as a profession. This is absolutely important,” he said.
The Chairman also commended government for creating a platform for dialogue and interaction between the private and public sectors at different forums.
He specifically hailed Rwanda Revenue Authority’s quarterly dialogue with members of the Private Sector Federation (PSF) to resolve tax related issues.
“We will always have issues (tax related) but at least we have a forum to discuss – this makes life easy,” Bayigamba said.
‘Doing Business’ ranks economies based on 10 indicators of business regulation that track the time and cost to meet government requirements in starting and operating a business, trading across borders, paying taxes, and closing a business.
According to the report, in the past year, Rwanda eased the processing of construction permits by passing new building regulations and implementing new time limits for the issuance of various permits.
Borrowers now have the right to inspect their own credit report, and loans of all sizes are required to be reported to the Central Bank’s public credit registry, hence enhancing access to credit.
However, the Chairman, urged government to fast track implementation of business reforms to make it much easier to do business.
“We have to go on operational level at the sectoral level; have a concrete definition of where we want to go, how and what needs to be done by government.
Look at what kind of investments we need – in coffee, for instance ,access to water, coffee washing station and electricity. And, we, as private sector, how much we have to put in as equity. We would like to sit down on a quarterly basis to reduce all the bottle necks.” he said.
Since 2005, Rwanda has implemented 22 business regulation reforms in the areas measured by DB.
Starting a business in Rwanda required nine procedures and cost 223 percent of income per capita in 2005. Today, it takes two procedures and three days—and costs 8.9 percent of income per capita.