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The Best Countries for Business

- April 22, 2009

Forbes magazine has just released its ranking of the “best countries for business.” 127 nations are ranked. The stated criteria are a country’s tax burden, red tape, investor protections, stock market performance, promotion of free trade and freedoms of expression and organization – criteria that are said to suggest a country’s “ability to attract entrepreneurs, investors and workers,” and thus “to rebound from the current malaise.”

#1 on the Forbes hit parade for the second straight year is Denmark. Rounding out Forbes‘s Top 10 are: the U.S., Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, the U.K., Sweden, Australia, Hong Kong/China, and Norway. Falling out of the Top 10 were Switzerland (from #10 to #15), and more conspicuously, Finland (from #3 to #13) and (sorry, Henry) Ireland (from #2 to #14). Even Iceland, where the economy has crashed and burned, comes in at #22. If Iceland ranks that high, then things must really be tough in the rest of the world.

Anchoring the bottom of the scale, at #127, is Zimbabwe. The rest of the Bottom 10, listed from the bottom up, are Burundi, Chad, Bolivia, Tajikistan, Gambia, Cameroon, Nicaragua, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Venezuela.

For the full listing of all 127 countries, click here.

I hope that those who are better versed than I am (i.e., almost anybody) will chime in about these rankings and the substantive and methodological issues they raise.