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 Doing Business? A Look at Latin America and the Caribbean
  Enterprises considering estab- lishing a business presence in Latin America and the Caribbe- an will face the challenges of a still-developing economy but will benefit from governments and populations eager to speed up that development process and enjoy newfound prosperity.
 The nations of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have worked hard to put their houses in order and make themselves an inviting destination for companies interested in establish- ing a business presence. The instability that once character- ized the region is receding into the past, and the countries themselves are instituting practices and policies to make doing business there more friendly to entrepreneurs and established businesses alike.
Progress takes time. In the World Bank’s annual rankings of “Ease of Doing Business,” few Latin American economies have progressed so far as to join the top tier of countries around
the world. It is encouraging, though, to note those that have. Colombia, once considered virtually lawless because of its
drug cartels, now ranks 54th of the 189 economies evaluated and third in the LAC region in the ease of doing business. Its neighbor Peru, which itself has only recently emerged from
a past marked by volatility and instability, ranks second in the LAC region, behind only by Mexico. Rounding out the top 10 are the American territory of Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Panama, St. Lucia, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
What is Colombia doing to reinforce its position at the top? It put into place several regulatory improvements, including streamlining the property transfer process, improving access to credit, and clarifying insolvency procedures and priorities. The country’s new tax regu- lations are probably a wash, however, considering that they introduced a new tax on profits but reduced tax rates on corporate income and payrolls.
At the bottom of the heap are Venezuela, which continues its disastrous fall, and Haiti, which, despite declaring itself “open for business,” ranks at or near the bottom for many categories.

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