PRELIMINARY meetings and discussions are progressing with Fiji’s trade counterparts in Singapore, scoping ways in which our ease of doing business rankings can be improved.
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya recently visited Singapore and met representatives from investment corporations there, looking at ways to streamline certain processes in doing business.
According to the World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings, Singapore is ranked second among other countries, because of its conducive regulatory environment in doing business.
Fiji is ranked 97 among 190 economies in doing business survey.
The rank of Fiji deteriorated to 97 in 2016 from 84 in 2015 and had averaged 70.33 from 2008 until 2016, reaching the highest of 97.00 in 2016 and a record low of 43.00 in 2008.
The ease of doing business index ranks countries against each other based on how the regulatory environment is conducive to business operation stronger protections of property rights.
Economies with a high rank (1 to 20) have simpler and friendlier regulations for businesses.
“It’s very important and very critical that we constantly check on our ease of doing business,” Mr Koya said in an interview with this newspaper.
“It’s a whole lot of Government issues really, mostly about digitisation, bettering our processes and about information sharing in all the ministries.”
While Mr Koya said the meeting with the Singaporeans were “really good” and “very fruitful”, he added that Government was also considering best practices that were engaged in and around the world.
“At the moment the Singaporeans are quite helpful to us but as I say, what we are really engaged in is the digitisation as a whole for Government and that makes a lot of processes a lot easier in terms of doing business in Fiji,” he said.
“Why should we take a set of documents to five different departments in Government where we really should have to do it once that is the ultimate objective and how we can ensure that we are doubling or tripling certain processes all the time.”
He revealed that Government and relevant stakeholders had subsequent meetings on Fiji’s ease of doing business and improving certain processes.