Forbes has released their top 10 countries to run a business in. The United States had to settle for tenth. Despite the Eurozone crisis, Europe dominates the list.
The criteria were developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a division of The Economist magazine. They examined 50 countries on 22 indicators of dynamism across five categories: science and technology, business operating environment, economics and growth, labor and human capital, and financing environment.
To validate the results the surveyors then interviewed 406 senior executives from across the globe in which they were asked to grade the importance to each indicator for their company.
Here is the Top 10
10. United States of America: The U.S. received a ranking of 64.1. An individualistic culture, the US prides itself on qualities such as initiative, self-reliance, freedom, and personal achievement. New ideas are not only encouraged but celebrated. The business culture is also refreshingly informal where people tend to be addressed by first names and speak in conversational tones regardless of their position. The United States is very capitalist and has very little business regulations.
9. Germany: Ranking of 64.8. Germany is positioned perfectly in the heart of Europe. It is a very key player in the E.U. and NATO. The country has a highly skilled workforce that is always determined to give their best and met deadlines. There is a high level of English speakers, a strong economy, and many diverse business sectors.
8. South Korea: Ranking of 64.9. Favorably located between China and Japan, South Korea is in close proximity to more than 60 cities with million-plus populations. The country has fantastic infrastructure with well establish road, trains and airports. It also has a well-informed domestic customer base. This is why tech firms like Motorola, Microsoft, and eBay, along with consumer goods companies like L’Oréal, and Procter & Gamble use the country as a test marketplace for their new goods. Free market zones are also being established.
7. Switzerland: Ranking of 65.1. Switzerland has the fourth highest per capita gross domestic product worldwide. It is a very stable country that has had less than a 1% inflation rate for the past few years. Switzerland has a low corporate tax rate and an extremely well educated workforce. It has a leading world position in allowing the acquisition of new skills and technologies in the growth sectors of the future.
6. Australia: Ranking of 65.6. Australia’s strong economy incorporates developed agriculture and manufacturing industries. The country has an educated workforce and low operating costs. “Over the years, governments have made important strides to improve their business regulatory environment and to narrow the gap with global best practices,” according to the World Bank Group’s director of global indicators.
5. Austria: Ranking of 66.1. Austria is one of the 12 richest countries in the world in terms of GDP (Gross domestic product) per capita. At present, approximately 350 U.S. firms have subsidiaries, affiliates, franchisees, and licensees in Austria.
4. Israel: Ranking of 69.3. Israel has industrialized from an agricultural nation run along collectivist positions into a hi-tech economy in the past 50 years. It also enjoys trading exports in cut diamonds, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and agricultural products. The economy has been relatively unaffected by the 2010 global economic crisis.
3. Sweden: Ranking of 69.6. Sweden stands out for our levels of scientific infrastructure, innovation, and high education standards. It has an excellent communications infrastructure and a long tradition of openness and free movement of trade, people, and investment.
2. Finland: Ranking of 70.5. A forward-thinking telecommunications sector has been added to the traditional metals and timber industries. “The advantages of Finland are often related to the stability, predictability and skilled labor. The most common reason to set up a business in Finland is the market”, says Pentti Pitkänen from Invest in Finland.
1. Singapore: Ranking of 72.1. Singapore is the largest port city in the world and has benefited greatly from Asian growth. Singapore is renowned for being an easy place to set up businesses. You may open your company in approximately three working days in Singapore. The country has been ranked as the 2nd most politically stable country in Asia. There are no dividend or capital gains taxes in Singapore. “Its economy is driven by electronics manufacturing and financial services and has weathered regional crises, including the 1997 Asian markets slump, the 2003 Sars virus outbreak and the 2009 world banking crisis” according to the BBC. For these reasons, Forbes believes it is the best place in the world to run a business.