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Mauritian experience to boost Uganda’s ease of doing business framework

Kampala, capital city of Uganda

l'eco

Mauritian experience to boost Uganda’s ease of doing business framework

Didier Viney, Director at DTOS International, a Mauritian based firm has advised Uganda to adjust a host of conditions if more investors are to do business in the country. 

“Uganda needs to adjust a few regulations if
it is to be more business-friendly,” noted Viney while making a presentation
titled: Ease of Doing Business (2018) Mauritius Vs Uganda: Quick wins for
Uganda based on the Mauritian experience, at in Kampala recently.

DTOS is a leading management company
operating in the Mauritian global business sector for the last 20 years.

Founded in 1993 and licensed by the Financial
Services Commission, DTOS provides a comprehensive range of professional
services including company formation, corporate and trust administration, fund
administration, accounting, tax services, wealth management, third party fund
accounting, financial outsourcing and business model optimization.

Viney says by eliminating inspection of business
premises by Uganda Revenue Authority, obtaining trade licenses through the KCCA
portal (secured and e-commerce complaint), paying license fees through mobile
money and obtaining NSSF registration numbers through the Fund’s portal would
reduce the time taken by 9 days.

Didier Viney

According to the index, starting a business
in Uganda takes 24 days and 13 procedures to complete. This is compared to 5
days in Mauritius. In New Zealand, the procedure takes half a day.

Currently, Uganda ranks number 122 in the
Ease of Doing Business Index while Mauritius is number 25, and New Zealand is
number 1 in the world.

The index is published annually by the World
Bank. The country that ranks high has a more business-friendly regulatory
environment, has more streamlined regulations and stronger protections of
property rights.

Filing taxes takes 195 hours per year in
Uganda, 152 in Mauritius and 50 in Estonia. In Uganda 31 payments have to be
made per year. It takes 8 hours in Mauritius and 3 in Hong Kong, the overall
best performer.

Going by the above, Uganda can go by the
basic principle to make tax rules and interpretations clearer to avoid
disputes.

“Taking lessons from Estonia, make sure all filing, remittances and payments can only be done online. Tax audits do not take longer than one and a half hours to be complied with,” Viney argued. 

On enforcing contracts, to resolve a
commercial dispute and assess the quality of the judicial process takes 490
days in Uganda, less than 519 in Mauritius and 164 in Singapore.

The general take-always for Uganda and
Mauritius are: Speed up filing and service, speed up trial and judgment, speed
up enforcement of the judgment and actively promote arbitration.

“Ultimately, a favourable regulatory climate
encourages entrepreneurship, lowers barriers to starting businesses and reduces
the size of the informal sector in favour of the formal sector,” Viney pointed
out.

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