The average time for the region is 28 days and the average cost is 48% of GDP per capita, a far cry from OECD average time and costs which are 9 days and 3.4% of GDP per capita.
Using data from the Regional Economic Report 2015, an article on Prensa.com outlines that "... Of all the countries in Central America Panama is the place where starting a business requires the least paperwork, time and cost. "Setting up a company in Panama it takes six days, through five different procedures, with a cost equivalent to 6.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (about $764).
A World Bank study has evaluated regulations which exist in 22 cities in the region for starting new business, registration, construction, and border trade.
From a statement issued by the World Bank:
Doing Business in Central America and the Dominican Republic 2015 compares business regulations in 6 Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) and the Dominican Republic. In addition to the capitals, the study collects data related to 15 subnational locations regarding regulations that affect 3 stages in the life of a small to medium-size domestic firm: starting a business, dealing with construction permits and registering property. The study also analyzes the indicator of trading across borders, considering 7 main ports and 3 secondary ports. Moreover, it includes a gender perspective based on the study of laws and regulations that impose differential treatment for women.
Claims have been made that the time it takes to undertake the procedures needed to start up a business stated in the Doing Business report are much longer in reality.
With the aim of improving competitiveness, private sector representatives have asked the Panamanian government to cut the amount of red tape, as some of the processes can take up to a year. This discourages foreign investment and above all increases costs for industry.
The future Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry proposes the creation of a court that will be responsible for dealing with complaints from citizens who feel affected by bureaucratic excesses of the state.
If this nonsense is a sign of what the work will be of the next head of the MEIC, the Costa Rican productive sector should not put too much hope in his management. The proposal by the Minister means transferring a specific and direct responsibility of his department, to a court whose actions are in essence slow.
A new web platform has been presented to register architectural plans in digital format with the National Registry.
From a press release by the Association of Engineers and Architects (CFIA):
The Association of Engineers and Architects (CFIA by its initials in Spanish), the College of Engineering Surveyors (CIT in Spanish) and the National Registry office have presented a new electronic digital registry system for surveys and plans to be submitted to the National Registry. The procedure will be carried out through the platform known as ' Administrador de Proyectos de Topografía (APT)' (Project Management for Surveys), belonging to the CFIA, and which enables users across the country to register online, without having to go to the office of the National Registry in Zapote.
The Guatemalan government has announced that it will tender three works valued at $185 million in the first quarter of 2014.
This was stated by the Minister of Economy, Sergio de la Torre. The first project, which will require an investment of between $100 million to $120 million, will be the commuter train that will connect Centra Norte, zone 18, with Amatitlán.
While in Panama a company can send a container abroad in 10 days, in Nicaragua the process takes 21 days.
Of all the countries in the region Nicaragua is the place where exporting or importing goods takes the longest, significantly increasing the cost of these commercial operations, said the Doing Business report issued by the World Bank (WB).
It is the longest amount of time in the entire Central American region for formalizing a new business.
Laprensa.com.ni reports: "While in Panama it takes five days to open a business, in the case of Nicaragua 36 days are needed, the longest in all of Central America, according to the Doing Business Report 2014, by the World Bank (WB) ... ".
Judicially enforcing a contract takes 1402 days in Guatemala, 920 in Honduras, 852 in Costa Rica, 786 in El Salvador, 686 in Panama, and 409 in Nicaragua.
The data comes from the 2014 Doing Business report by the World Bank.
The extreme difficulty of enforcing contracts by means of the administration of justice systems is endemic in Latin America, which, as stated an article in Miamiherald.com by Andres Oppenheimer, contributes "to slow economic growth."
The 12 steps and 60 days that it took to start a business a year ago, have now been reduced to 9 steps that can be done within 24 days.
Nacion.com reports: "This improvement in opening a business is part of the actions undertaken by the Government to facilitate procedures and which has earned the country a jump of seven places in the ranks of the Doing Business 2014 report ...".
Social conflict, the political environment and a feeling of insecurity have lead to fewer companies registering while a growing number of established companies disappear.
An article in Prensalibre.com reports that "During the first 20 months of the current administration 8,134 companies have ceased operations, which means that 406 closed per month, and 13 closed per day, according to Companies Registry," while "in the same period, but under the government of Alvaro Colom, the number of companies cancelling registrations was 5,236, about nine a day."
The Costa Rican environmental authority has only 5 technicians to analyze the feasibility of billions of dollars worth of infrastructure projects.
Construction of the new container terminal at the Port of Moin can not begin because the environmental feasibility study has not been approved, because it has been delayed due to lack of staff in the Environmental Technical Secretariat (SETENA).
Panamá Pacífico with thousands of interested visitors to its stand in Expocomer 2010, not only offered the Key Note speech of thursday, but launched the residential phase of this great development on the banks of the Panama Canal