Costa Rica improves in business rankings, but it is still low

Officials in the Ministerio de Economía, Industría y Comercio touted Tuesday that Costa Rica has moved up 12 spots in one year in an annual business study performed by the World Bank.  However, the World Bank’s rankings on the study’s Web site show little reason for Costa Rica to celebrate.

Costa Rica is now ranked as the 110th easiest country to have a business out of 185 countries around the world. Costa Rica fell slightly behind countries like Kosovo, Pakistan, Egypt and Belize.

These rankings are part of the World Bank’s 2013 “Doing Business” survey, which uses data collected up to June 2012 to set the rankings. The lower a country’s number is, the easier it is to start and maintain a business in that country, according to the survey’s Web site.

The survey ranks each country in 10 sub-areas which correspond to tasks one must complete in order to have a business. They include categories like paying taxes, getting credit and trading across borders.

At a press conference, World Bank spokespeople alongside ministry officials presented the results from the “Doing Business” study on Costa Rica. A 114 page report is available on the survey website HERE!

At the conference, ministry officials boasted that Costa Rica moved up 12 spots overall since last year’s survey.

They also touted that Costa Rica is among the top 10 countries that implemented reforms to enhance the business climate.

However, even with those gains, the study still does not make Costa Rica an attractive place for prospective entrepreneurs.

Although Costa Rica did move up 12 spots overall, it went from 122nd last year to 110th this year.

In six of the 10 areas on which each country’s economy is evaluated, Costa Rica was near or within the bottom 30 percent.

Costa Rica ranked 128th in starting a business overall, as well as in dealing with construction permits, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Costa Rica also ranked 125th in paying taxes and 169th in protecting investors. On a more positive and surprising note, Costa Rica’s strongest area was getting electricity, where it ranked 45th. Costa Rica also ranked 46th in registering property and 51st in trading across borders.

The highest ranking economies on the survey in order are Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United States and Denmark.

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