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15 Best Countries For Business

New Zealand Tops Our List Of The Best Countries For Business

Forbes.com

11/14/2012

The U.S. continues to lose ground against other nations in Forbes’ annual look at the Best Countries for Business. The U.S. placed second in 2009, but it has been in a steady decline since. This year it ranks 12th, down from No. 10 last year. The U.S. trails fellow G-8 countries Canada (No. 5), United Kingdom (No. 10) and Australia (No. 11).

Corporate taxes continue to put a damper on American businesses. Following a tax cut in Japan this year, the U.S. now has the highest statutory corporate tax rate in the world. The effective rate is much lower thanks to numerous breaks, but owning the highest published rate makes for poor perceptions.

It is not just the rate that hinders the U.S., but also the complexity of the tax code. The typical small or medium-size business requires 175 hours a year to comply with U.S. tax laws, according to the World Bank. Overall the U.S. ranks 55th out of the 141 countries we examined in terms of its tax regime. The world’s biggest economy at $15.1 trillion, it also scores poorly when it comes to trade freedom and monetary freedom.

New Zealand ranks first on our list of the Best Countries for Business, up from No. 2 last year, thanks to a transparent and stable business climate that encourages entrepreneurship. New Zealand is the smallest economy in our top 10 at $162 billion, but it ranks first in four of the 11 metrics we examined, including personal freedom and investor protection, as well as a lack of red tape and corruption.

New Zealand’s economy is closely tied to Australia’s, and both held up better than most during the global financial crisis. The downside to the resilience of its economy is that the New Zealand dollar has appreciated, making the country’s agricultural exports more expensive. The higher prices have helped to push up unemployment to 7.3%—the highest level since 1999.

New Zealand cut its corporate tax rate from 30% to 28% last year and eliminated certain deductions, making the cut fiscally neutral. Investors have prospered, with the country’s benchmark stock index, the NZX 50, up 24% over the past 12 months.

We determined the Best Countries for Business by grading 141 nations on 11 different factors: property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance.

Forbes leaned on research and published reports from the following organizations: the Central Intelligence Agency, Freedom House, Heritage Foundation, Property Rights Alliance, Transparency International, World Bank and World Economic Forum.

Ranking second on our list is Denmark, on the strength of its technology, trade freedom and property rights. Its GDP per capita is one of the highest in the world at $59,684 last year, according to the World Bank (America’s was $48,442). Like the U.S., Denmark is struggling to recover from the bursting of its real estate bubble. GDP rose 1.1% last year and contracted 0.4% in the second quarter of 2012. Yet, with its business-friendly climate, the country is poised to rebound stronger than most of Europe.

Hong Kong ranks third. Its economy, highly dependent on international trade and finance, remains one of the most vibrant in the world. Credit one of the world’s lowest tax burdens and a high level of monetary freedom. Hong Kong’s economy grew 5% last year and the unemployment rate is a scant 3.2%.

Singapore comes in at No. 4, ranking in the top 20 in all but one of the 11 metrics we measured. The only thing keeping Singapore from the top spot is a low score on personal freedom, as measured by watchdog organization Freedom House. Singapore’s economy depends heavily on exports, particularly in consumer electronics and IT products. Its trade surplus was 24% of GDP in 2011. The $240 billion economy grew 4.9% last year.

Canada slid from the top of the rankings in 2011 to No. 5 this year, losing ground on innovation and technology. The World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Report says Canada is being weighed down by “a less favorable assessment of the quality of its research institutions and the government’s role in promoting innovation through procurement practices.” However Canada remains among the best countries in the world when it comes to trade freedom, investor protection and the ease of starting a new business.




New Zealand is ranked as the best country for business, according to Forbes. The report states that the United States continues to lose ground against other nations in Forbes’ annual look at the best countries for business.


1. New Zealand

The island country, New Zealand has a modern, prosperous and developed market economy. The country is heavily dependent on international trade and has a high demand for agricultural products.

GDP: GDP: $162 billion

GDP per capita: $39,300

Public debt as % of GDP: 36%


2. Denmark

Officially the Kingdom of Denmark has a developed mixed market economy and the country’s economy stands out for its economic freedom. It has a large labour force and its support for free trade is high.

GDP: $333 billion

GDP per capita: $59,684

Public debt as % of GDP: 44%


3. Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a special administrative region and is considered to be one of the world’s leading financial centers. The country has a major capitalist service economy characterized by low taxation and free trade.

GDP: $244 billion

GDP per capita: $34,457

Public debt as % of GDP: 30%


4. Singapore

Singapore has a highly developed market based economy. It is known to have one of the freest, innovative, competitive and business-friendly environments worldwide. The economy depends heavily on exports and refining imported goods, especially in manufacturing.

GDP: $240 billion

GDP per capita: $46,241

Public debt as % of GDP: 118%



5. Canada

Canada has a mixed economy and manufacturing, mining and service sectors have transformed the nation from a rural economy to an industrialized one. The country is one of the world's largest suppliers of agricultural products.

GDP: $1.7 trillion

GDP per capita: $50,345

Public debt as % of GDP: 87%


6. Ireland

The economy of Ireland mainly focuses on services and high-tech industries. Exports play a very important role and Ireland is considered to be one of the world’s most profitable countries.

GDP: $217 billion

GDP per capita: $48,423

Public debt as % of GDP: 105%


7. Sweden

Sweden is an export oriented mixed economy and is heavily oriented towards foreign trade. The country’s engineering,
telecommunications, automotive and pharmaceutical industries are of great importance.

GDP: $538 billion

GDP per capita: $56,927

Public debt as % of GDP: 38%


8. Norway

Norway is a mixed economy. It features a combination of free market activity and large state ownership in certain key sectors. It is also one of the largest oil exporters in the world.

GDP: $486 billion

GDP per capita: $98,102

Public debt as % of GDP: 58%


9. Finland

Although Finland was relatively late for industrialization, the country’s economy grows rapidly. The country is highly integrated in the global economy, and international trade.

GDP: $266 billion

GDP per capita: $49,391

Public debt as % of GDP: 49%


10. United Kingdom

United Kingdom was the world’s first industrialized countries and is a now considered as one of the great powers in with its economic influence. The country has a partially regulated market economy.

GDP: $2.4 trillion

GDP per capita: $38,818

Public debt as % of GDP: 86%


11. Australia

Australia is a developed country which enjoys its high economic freedom. It is considered to be a wealthy economy with a market economy. The country is a major exporter of agricultural products.

GDP: $1.4 trillion

GDP per capita: $60,642

Public debt as % of GDP: 27%


12. United States

The United States of America has a capitalist mixed economy which has a developed infrastructure, high productivity and sufficient natural resources. Apart from being known for its large exports the country is also one of the largest importers of goods.

GDP: $15.1 trillion

GDP per capita: $48,442

Public debt as % of GDP: 68%


13. Belgium

Belgium has a strong globalised economy and it is characterized by high productive work force. The country is heavily is service-oriented and has an integrated transport infrastructure.

GDP: $512 billion

GDP per capita: $46,469

Public debt as % of GDP: 100%


14. Netherlands

The Netherlands has a market-based mixed economy that is well known for its liberal stance. Shipping, fishing, trade, and banking have been leading sectors of the country’s economy.

GDP: $836 billion

GDP per capita: $50,087

Public debt as % of GDP: 65%


15. Switzerland

Switzerland is known as one of the most stable, prosperous and wealthiest economy. The high tech economy’s main sector is manufacturing and the Switzerland’s largest exported goods are chemicals.

GDP: $636 billion

GDP per capita: $80,391

Public debt as % of GDP: 52%

Comments

  • feistyradicalfeistyradical Member ✭✭✭
    #87 Best Countries for Business: Philippines


    GDP $225 B As of October 2012


    At a Glance
    GDP Growth: 3.7%
    GDP/Capita: $2,370
    Trade Balance: 3.1%
    Population: 103.8 M
    Public Debt As % of GDP: 51%
    Unemployment: 7.0%
    Inflation: 4.8%
    Forbes Lists




    Profile

    Philippine GDP grew 7.6% in 2010, spurred by consumer demand, a rebound in exports and investments, and election-related spending, before cooling to 3.7% in 2011. The economy weathered the 2008-09 global recession better than its regional peers due to minimal exposure to troubled international securities, lower dependence on exports, relatively resilient domestic consumption, large remittances from four- to five-million overseas Filipino workers, and a growing business process outsourcing industry. Economic growth in the Philippines averaged 4.5% during the MACAPAGAL-ARROYO administration (January 2001 - June 2010). Despite this growth, however, poverty worsened during her presidency. The AQUINO administration is working to reduce the government deficit from 3.9% of GDP, when it took office, to 2% of GDP by 2013. The government has had little difficulty issuing debt, both locally and internationally, to finance the deficits. The AQUINO Administration reduced public debt to below 50% of GDP and obtained several ratings upgrades on sovereign debt so that the Philippines is now close to investment grade. However, the lack of government spending, especially on infrastructure, was one of several factors which slowed GDP growth in the second half of 2011, leading the government to announce a stimulus effort and increased public spending on infrastructure in 2012. AQUINO's first budget emphasized education, health, conditional cash transfers for the poor, and other social spending programs, relying mostly on the private sector to finance important infrastructure projects. Weak tax collection, exacerbated by new tax breaks and incentives, has limited the government's ability to address major challenges. The AQUINO administration has vowed to focus on improving tax collection efficiency, rather than imposing new taxes, as a part of its good governance platform. The economy still faces several long-term challenges, including reliance on energy imports and foreign demand for overseas Filipino workers.
  • The AQUINO administration has vowed to focus on improving tax collection efficiency, rather than imposing new taxes, as a part of its good governance platform.

    Hmmm, broken vow.
  • blue_tracerblue_tracer soundscapes ✭✭✭
    The AQUINO administration has vowed to focus on improving tax collection efficiency, rather than imposing new taxes, as a part of its good governance platform.

    ahaha.. yeah. :hiya:
  • _Bahay_Kubo__Bahay_Kubo_ Banned by Admin PExer
    the Philippines, a mostly Christian country with a pro-oligarch economic policies, and a society that openly embraces graft and corruption, is NOT a good place for business. ;)
  • Meron bang NEXT TIGER NATION na pang-87 ang ranking sa Forbes' Best Country for Business? Kabaligtaran ang press releases ni Noynoy sa katotohanan.
  • peternato9peternato9 Banned by Admin PExer
    ^^^ meron naman eto oh

    403570d1227035060-who-has-gay-tiger-pic-really-gay-costume.jpg
  • KID=1412KID=1412 Phantom Thief Kid PExer
    Lol @ redtape... :rotflmao: two rankings in a row na! :lol:

    On a side note, 4th best ba talaga ang stock market performance? Never looked seriously into investing in stocks.. Di ko makita yung details nung criteria, unlike dun sa ease of doing business...

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