Anita felt relieved. She just had completed the first step of registering her seafood exporting business at Guyana’s Deeds Registry and the records search took less than five minutes rather than the usual seven days. New procedures, digitalization of records, and an online search function have slashed the time it takes to fully register a firm from 34 days to 12.
Thanks to reforms advanced under the Guyana Country Threshold Program/ Implementation Project (GCTP/IP), the time-consuming red tape that deters registration by business owners like Anita is becoming a thing of the past. The reforms will save businesses time, encourage better record keeping, and bolster their ability to secure loans for expansion—and develop a broader tax base for the government. Meanwhile, guided by a new Investors Roadmap, the Deeds Registry and the Guyana Investment Office are creating a one-stop shop that will streamline procedures for investors. In addition to simplifying registration, the project improved tax and customs collections and supported measures to increase Parliamentary oversight.
With the support of the Nathan Associates, the Government of Guyana designed and implemented the two-year program, which was managed by the US Agency for International Development and funded by the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
At a ceremony celebrating GCTP/IP achievements in February, President of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo stressed the value of the reforms to the country’s “local capital” and openness to foreign investment: “Private sector development is critical to the future good fortunes of this country … and we will continue working and building on these reforms to ensure that the [proper]environment is created because it’s an important part of our development strategy.” He expressed thanks to the US Government and the MCC for making it possible for Guyana to continue its “very aggressive reform process.”
Malik Chaka, the MCC Director of the Department of Policy and International Relations, explained that from the very first, the program was “owned by the Government and people of Guyana,” who provided the focus, will and many of the resources that made GCTP/IP a success.
Nathan Associates is glad to have helped the Government of Guyana achieve tangible reforms over the brief two-year span of the project and to have set the stage for further reforms.
See detailed results of Nathan Associates’ work on this project.