For the second straight year, the general improvement in the conditions for setting up a business in Latin American countries was overtaken by a significant deterioration in Venezuela.
By Beatriz Helena Pacheco Lozada
Despite a slowdown in Latin America’s economy, brought by lower commodity prices, conditions for starting a business continue to improve in most of the region’s countries.
The region as a whole scored 80.5 points in Latin Trade’s Entrepreneur Index 2017, up 5 points from the year before.
The index calculates the ease of starting and operating a business in 18 Latin American countries based on five indicators. Three of them relate to the ease of starting a business, such as procedures, approval times and costs. Two of the indicators evaluate conditions for financing.
The top three countries in the list which consistently show the best business environments are Chile, Panama and Colombia. In fact, Colombia registered its second-best improvement this year.
For its part, Bolivia not only improved in two indicators, but also cut down the costs of procedures to start a business.
But Venezuela’s spiralling economy and bureaucracy continue to affect business conditions. Among the variables with the most significant drops are the number of days required to establish a business (230 days, up from 144 in last year’s index), as well as an increase in procedure costs.
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