Best countries in the world for doing business and investment (146 countries)

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The U.S. is the world’s undisputed economic superpower with a GDP of $16.7 trillion last year, nearly a quarter of the global total. It is the financial capital of the world and has largely recovered from the Great Recession. The economy recently posted its best six-month performance in more than a decade and unemployment stands at 5.9{1f0bb132e08ca1f8565add86e1f8740171c75f84ed80bad4a750114913f392ef}, down from its 2009 peak of 10{1f0bb132e08ca1f8565add86e1f8740171c75f84ed80bad4a750114913f392ef}.

Yet for all of its financial might, the U.S. lags behind many other developed nations when it comes to its business climate, and the gap is growing. The U.S. ranks 18th in Forbes’ ninth annual ranking of the Best Countries for Business, down four spots from last year. It marks the fifth straight year of declines since 2009, when the U.S. ranked second.

We determined the Best Countries for Business by grading 146 nations on 11 different factors: property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance. Each category was equally weighted. The data came from published reports from the following organizations: Freedom House, Heritage Foundation, Property Rights Alliance, Transparency International, World Bank and World Economic Forum (click here for more details on the methodology).

Pos Country GDP Growth
({1f0bb132e08ca1f8565add86e1f8740171c75f84ed80bad4a750114913f392ef})
GDP/Capita
Trade Balance
as {1f0bb132e08ca1f8565add86e1f8740171c75f84ed80bad4a750114913f392ef} of GDP
Population
(mil)
1

Denmark

0.1 37,800 6 5.6
2

Hong Kong

2.9 52,700 2.1 7.1
3

New Zealand

2.5 30,400 -4.6 4.4
4

Ireland

0.6 41,300 3.3 4.8
5

Sweden

0.9 40,900 7.1 9.7
6

Canada

1.6 43,100 -3.3 34.8
7

Norway

1.6 55,400 13.1 5.1
8

Singapore

4.1 62,400 18.4 5.6
9

Switzerland

2.0 54,800 10.2 8.1
10

Finland

-0.6 35,900 -0.8 5.3
11

Netherlands

-0.8 43,300 9.1 16.9
12

Belgium

0.1 37,800 -1.8 10.4
13

United Kingdom

1.8 37,300 -3.8 63.7
14

Slovenia

-1.1 27,400 6.3 2.0
15

Iceland

1.9 40,700 -0.7 0.3
16

Australia

2.5 43,000 -3 22.5
17

Taiwan

2.2 39,600 11.7 23.4
18

United States

1.6 52,800 -2.2 318.9
19

Luxembourg

0.5 77,900 4.5 0.5
20

Germany

0.5 39,500 7.2 81.0
21

Portugal

-1.8 22,900 0.5 10.8
22

Estonia

1.5 22,400 -1.5 1.3
23

Spain

-1.3 30,100 0.2 47.7
24

Lithuania

3.4 22,600 -1.2 3.5
25

Austria

0.4 42,600 2.5 8.2
26

Japan

2.0 37,100 1.1 127.1
27

France

0.3 35,700 -2.2 66.3
28

United Arab Emirates

4.0 29,900 13.5 5.6
29

Chile

4.4 19,100 -3.9 17.4
30

Israel

3.3 36,200 1.9 7.8
31

Macedonia

3.1 10,800 -1.8 2.1
32

South Korea

2.8 33,200 4.6 49.0
33

Cyprus

-8.7 24,500 -1.6 1.2
34

Mauritius

3.4 16,100 -9.2 1.3
35

Malta

2.4 29,200 1.4 0.4
36

Latvia

4.0 19,100 -2 2.2
37

Malaysia

4.7 17,500 5.3 30.1
38

Italy

-1.8 29,600 -0.1 61.7
39

Qatar

5.5 102,100 22.3 2.1
40

Poland

1.3 21,100 -2.2 38.3
41

Romania

3.5 14,400 -1.1 21.7
42

Bulgaria

0.5 14,400 -0.3 6.9
43

South Africa

2.0 11,500 -6.7 48.4
44

Czech Republic

-0.9 26,300 -1.7 10.6
45

Slovakia

0.8 24,700 3.4 5.4
46

Croatia

-1.0 17,800 -0.2 4.5
47

Georgia

2.5 6,100 -8.6 4.9
48

Montenegro

1.5 11,900 -42.9 0.7
49

Hungary

0.2 19,800 1.3 9.9
50

Turkey

3.8 15,300 -7.1 81.6
51

Greece

-3.8 23,600 0.8 10.8
52

Peru

5.1 11,100 -4.9 30.1
53

Bahrain

4.4 29,800 6.7 1.3
54

Jordan

3.3 6,100 -14 7.9
55

Uruguay

3.5 16,600 -4.8 3.3
56

Armenia

4.6 6,300 -6.9 3.1
57

Costa Rica

3.5 12,900 -5.5 4.8
58

Albania

0.7 10,700 -10 3.0
59

Saudi Arabia

3.6 31,300 18.4 27.3
60

Azerbaijan

5.8 10,800 17.5 9.7
61

Mexico

1.2 15,600 -1.1 120.3
62

Thailand

2.9 9,900 -0.8 67.7
63

Mongolia

11.8 5,900 -32.7 3.0
64

Jamaica

0.4 9,000 -11 2.9
65

Kazakhstan

5.0 14,100 0.9 17.9
66

Panama

7.5 16,500 -12.5 3.6
67

Colombia

4.2 11,100 -3 46.2
68

Oman

5.1 29,800 8.8 3.2
69

Botswana

3.9 16,400 8.9 2.2
70

Zambia

6.0 1,800 -5.6 14.6
71

Trinidad and Tobago

1.6 20,300 1.5 1.2
72

Namibia

4.4 8,200 -5.4 2.2
73

Barbados

-0.8 25,100 -6.5 0.3
74

Rwanda

7.5 1,500 -8.7 12.3
75

Moldova

8.9 3,800 -6.4 3.6
76

Cape Verde

1.5 4,400 -5.1 0.5
77

Indonesia

5.3 5,200 -3.3 253.6
78

Kuwait

2.3 42,100 38.5 2.7
79

Morocco

5.1 5,500 -9.2 33.0
80

Seychelles

3.3 25,900 -11 0.1
81

Ghana

7.9 3,500 -11.3 25.8
82

Philippines

6.8 4,700 2.8 107.7
83

Senegal

4.0 2,100 -8.4 13.6
84

Bosnia and Herzegovina

0.8 8,300 -5 3.9
84

Serbia

2.0 11,100 -4.1 7.2
86

Dominican Republic

2.0 9,700 -3.9 10.3
87

Tunisia

2.8 9,900 -9.4 10.9
88

Ukraine

0.4 7,400 -6.8 44.3
89

Sri Lanka

6.3 6,500 -3.8 21.9
90

El Salvador

1.6 7,500 -5.4 6.1
91

Russia

1.3 18,100 3.5 142.5
92

Madagascar

2.6 1,000 -18.5 23.2
93

India

3.2 4,000 -4.5 1,236.3
94

Brazil

2.3 12,100 -3.5 202.7
95

Guatemala

3.3 5,300 -3.4 14.6
96

Guyana

5.3 8,500 -16.9 0.7
97

China

7.7 9,800 2 1,355.7
98

Kenya

5.1 1,800 -9.9 45.0
99

Mozambique

7.0 1,200 -40.1 24.7
100

Lebanon

1.5 15,800 -7.4 5.9
101

Kyrgyzstan

7.4 2,500 -15.6 5.6
102

Lesotho

4.1 2,200 -21.1 1.9
103

Argentina

3.5 18,600 -0.5 43.0
104

Cote d’Ivoire

8.0 1,800 -2.2 22.8
105

Pakistan

3.6 3,100 -1.0 196.2
106

Paraguay

12.0 6,800 4.5 6.7
107

Bangladesh

5.8 2,100 2.5 166.3
108

Egypt

1.8 6,600 -2.3 86.9
109

Swaziland

0.0 5,700 1.4
110

Bhutan

5.8 7,000 18.8 0.7
111

Vietnam

5.3 4,000 4.8 93.4
112

Benin

5.0 1,600 -8.4 10.2
113

Nepal

3.6 1,500 3.4 31.0
114

Sierra Leone

13.3 1,400 -10.1 5.7
115

Burkina Faso

6.5 1,500 -3.0 18.4
116

Tanzania

7.0 1,700 -15.2 49.6
117

Suriname

4.7 12,900 2.0 0.6
118

Honduras

2.8 4,800 -8.7 8.6
119

Mali

4.8 1,100 -8.1 16.5
120

Nicaragua

4.6 4,500 -14.0 5.8
121

Cambodia

7.0 2,600 -8.1 15.5
122

Uganda

5.6 1,500 -8.4 35.9
123

Ecuador

4.0 10,600 -0.9 15.7
124

Burundi

4.5 600 -18.4 10.4
125

Timor-Leste

8.1 21,400 38.8 1.2
126

Nigeria

6.2 2,800 3.2 177.2
127

Malawi

5.0 900 -7.6 17.4
128

Bolivia

6.8 5,500 3.3 10.6
129

Tajikistan

7.4 2,300 -3.9 8.1
130

Laos

8.3 3,100 -4.8 6.8
131

Gabon

6.6 19,200 8.9 1.7
132

Iran

-1.5 12,800 -2.1 80.8
133

Cameroon

4.6 2,400 -5.2 23.1
134

Zimbabwe

3.2 600 -5.5 13.8
135

Mauritania

6.4 2,200 -29.6 3.5
136

Ethiopia

7.0 1,300 -5.8 96.6
137

Algeria

3.1 7,500 3.1 38.8
138

Gambia

6.4 2,000 -18.3 1.9
139

Yemen

3.8 2,500 -7.5 26.1
140

Venezuela

1.6 13,600 0.9 28.9
141

Angola

5.6 6,300 8.6 19.1
142

Haiti

3.4 1,300 -15.4 10.0
143

Myanmar

6.8 1,700 -4.4 55.7
144

Libya

-5.1 11,300 3.8 6.2
145

Chad

3.9 2,500 -6.1 11.4
146

Guinea

2.9 1,100 -26.8 11.5
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 – forbes

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