While Texas clamps down on abortion, Australia passes a law to create safe access for abortion clinics. While Georgia makes laws to oppress the democratic vote, Guinea’s recent coup d’etat is intended to increase democracy. The level of democracy, coupled with the way countries treat their citizens, seems to affect their business ratings. The World Bank measures every countries ability for business based on several indicators, including democracy. Researchers at the Bank measure the ease of starting a business, including construction, permits, running electricity, and accessing credit. They also measure the ease of trading in the region, local talent for work and management, clarity and enforcement of contracts, and how easy it is to resolve solvency issues. A few other indicators to review are the amounts and process for paying taxes and protection as a foreign investor.
As of 2021, the best place to do business is in New Zealand. With an “ease of doing business” score of 86.8 out of 100, it is the top country on the list. Singapore comes in second (86.2), with Hong Kong right behind it (85.3) tied with Denmark. Other than the bank indicators, what these countries have in common is how they view their citizens. Each citizen is thought of as a human resource with the ability to contribute to the national economy. In that sense, each citizen is a valuable asset in which the country will invest and protect to reap the most benefit. Essential issues are maintaining a sound health system, job training, education, and support of scientific research. It also means offering a balanced life for citizens with time off work to relieve stress, walk in the woods, or care for family members. With high income taxes charged, the governments foster a win-win system that gives people what they want and charges them for it.
The next set of countries ranked 5-11 are Korea scoring 84 out of 100, USA (84), Georgia (83.7), UK (83.5), Norway (82.6), and Sweden (82). Two of these countries differ in their approaches to maintaining happy citizens. The UK has historically approached citizens’ needs well yet still holds on to the old ideology that the monarchy must remain a part of the governing system. The USA has differentiated citizen’s needs based on skin color since its inception in the late 1600s. Its idea of democracy has unique exceptions, but the economy remains the strongest for business ventures.
Looking at the next ten best countries to do business with, they fall in the category of “improving.” They are mainly developing countries, some with questionable laws to sustain the happiness of citizens. In order of improvement, they are; (1) Saudi Arabia, (2) Jordan, (3) Togo, (4) Bahrain, (5) Tajikistan, (6) Pakistan, (7) Kuwait, (8) China, (9) India, and (10) Nigeria. One must remember that none of the indicators for ease of doing business include non-intimidation of citizens. Because these countries wish to move from “improving” to “best for business,” they are likely willing to offer concessions for foreign direct investment projects that the top 10 countries may not. With micro-politics aside and business at the forefront, the improving countries may offer the highest reward for foreign investors looking for long-term gains.