June 2014—Each year, the World Bank publishes its Doing Business report—a survey of the ease of doing business around the world that includes 189 countries and 10 indicators. In this year’s report, Mozambique’s ranking rose 46 positions for the construction permit indicator, from 123rd place in 2013 to 77th in 2014.
Last year, the Mozambique Government renewed its commitment to improve the country’s Doing Business rankings and the overall business-enabling environment for private sector growth through a series of reforms to the way construction permits are granted. The USAID Support Program for Economic and Enterprise Development directly supported the implementation of those reforms.
While streamlining permit processes in 2013 led to an overall improvement of Mozambique’s ranking, moving from 142nd in 2013 to 139th in 2014, the country remains well below the top performers within the Southern Africa Development Community. To further improve the overall business environment and boost the 2015 rankings, the project identified a series of “quick wins,” key reforms that can be quickly implemented and have potential to improve three indicators: starting a business, registering property, and paying taxes.
Reforms are geared to simplify and streamline administrative processes and requirements to ease the burden for prospective and current business and property owners. USAID is helping the Ministry of Industry and Trade simplify the application forms required to start businesses in Mozambique and is coordinating with various public institutions to streamline processes. To expedite property registrations, the project is helping to integrate business processes that will reduce the time to obtain registration certificates.
The project is also introducing an online tax payment system, e-tax—primarily for value added tax and the simplified tax for small taxpayers—in Maputo and Matola, which will later be replicated across the country. These tax reforms will particularly impact those involved in small-scale agricultural, industrial and commercial activities.
“Our goal is to encourage more companies to do more business in Mozambique, thereby increasing trade and investment opportunities, and creating jobs and income growth,” said Brigit Helms, the program’s chief of party. “By implementing several high-impact reforms, we expect to see a marked improvement in the enabling environment and, hopefully, a leap in rankings next year on the World Bank’s Doing Business report.”
The goal of the Support Program for Economic and Enterprise Development is to improve the business environment and have more companies doing more business, resulting in increased trade and investment and a stronger competitive position. The program began in 2011 and concludes in February 2015.
Last updated: January 12, 2015