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What you need to know:
- Mr Mohamed said on Wednesday that the survey did not include reforms undertaken by the government in the last one year.
- The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) backed the government’s position.
The government has dismissed a new report by the World Bank showing that Kenya has made a slight improvement in its business regulatory environment.
The 2015 Ease of Doing Business index report fails to capture recent developments, according to Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed.
The study was released by the global lender on Tuesday and shows that the country edged to position 136 this year from last year’s position 137 in the global competitiveness ranking.
Mr Mohamed said on Wednesday that the survey did not include reforms undertaken by the government in the last one year and, therefore, did not reflect the current situation in the country.
“These latest results do not capture the reforms undertaken by the government in the last 12 months. We see an improving business climate as a result of the reforms that various government agencies have undertaken, but more needs to be done,” Mr Mohamed said.
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) backed the government’s position.
The minister cited the reduction of the period taken to register a company from 32 days a year ago to a day, the introduction of an electronic tax payment system (iTax) by the Kenya Revenue Authority and decentralisation of Huduma Centres as some of the initiatives by the government to improve the business environment but which were omitted in the survey.
At the meeting, Kepsa said the survey included responses from as low as two participants in some categories, a situation they said was not representative of the entire country.
“Kenya has recently become the leading destination for global-scale investments with major companies choosing to locate their African operations through their headquarters in the country, an achievement we are proud of,” Kepsa chief executive Carole Kariuki said.
The government now plans to carry out periodic surveys to audit progress of reforms in business regulation.
Mr Mohamed said a team of 40 individuals drawn from government agencies, the private sector and leading business schools in the country had been identified to carry out the exercise.
“We are optimistic that going forward and given the Business Environment Delivery Unit launched recently, we will see our country ranked even higher in coming years,” he said.
The World Bank report shows that sub-Saharan Africa had the highest number of reforms last year with 74 per cent of the region’s economies improving their business regulatory environment for local entrepreneurs.
In the East Africa, Rwanda and Burundi were cited as having made significant multiple improvements in the past five years, alongside Cape Verde and Ivory Coast.