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The Best Countries rankings, formed in partnership with BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, are based on a survey that asked more than 20,000 people from four regions to associate 73 countries with specific characteristics. The Open for Business subranking is based on an equally weighted average of scores from five country attributes that relate to how open for business a country is: bureaucratic, cheap manufacturing costs, corrupt, favorable tax environment and transparent government practices. The Open for Business subranking score had a 11% weight in the overall Best Countries ranking.
For the third year in a row, Luxembourg is seen as the No. 1 country in the Open for Business subranking. It also held the position in 2016. The small Western European country is viewed as the No. 2 country for having a favorable tax environment and finishes in the top quarter in terms of transparent government practices and corruption. The World Bank scores the country No. 1 overall for allowing trade across borders, and ranks it highly for dealing with construction permits.
Switzerland again finish at No. 2, but Panama fell from No. 3 last year to No. 11 in this year’s ranking. Panama finished in the bottom 10 of perceptions of transparent government practices. Canada replaced Panama at No. 3, followed by Denmark and Singapore. The Netherlands, Sweden, Thailand, Finland and Norway complete the top 10 countries in the ranking. and Denmark finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, but Singapore jumped seven spots to claim to the No. 6 slot. Canada, Norway, Finland and Thailand complete the top 10 countries in the ranking.
Nations prized for their openness pulled ahead in this subranking. Transparency International named Denmark the least corrupt country in the world, and the country is ranked as the 12th-least corrupt country in the 2020 Best Countries report. Danes pay some of the highest rates of taxes, but view the expense as an investment in their quality of life.
Strong perceptions of corruption and bureaucracy in Russia and Iran make them seem like a risky places to do business. They ranked at the bottom of the rankings, along with Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Belarus.
Top 10 destinations for doing business
- New Zealand
- The Netherlands
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