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article imageWhich is the best country in the world to run a business?

By Tim Sandle     Nov 1, 2018 in Business
The best place to run a business, according to a new review, is, to the surprise if some, New Zealand. The review us based in data collated by the World Bank.
The World Bank review assessed 190 countries and drew upon a range of factors. The review considered the situation as was at the start of 2018, based on a simple question, but one which has deep answers: which is the best country in the world to run a business?
Behind New Zealand comes Singapore, Denmark and Hong Kong. It is interesting countries that have been pushing strongly in terms of technology accelerator hubs, like Canada and the U.K., do not appear in the top five. The U.K. has lost ground, slipping down to ninth, behind Norway. Canada occupies the eighteenth position, up on 2017 but well below the fourth spot it held in 2006 (when the list was first compiled).
The criteria used by The World Bank draw heavily in factors linked to private enterprises and the regulatory framework that sets out the boundaries for their actions. Whether regulation adds an ethical check on market action or constrains business freedom will depend on an individual's political outlook. The World Bank has predicated the list with a call for less constraints on private enterprises to operate.
The core criteria for the list are:
Starting a business – Procedures, time, cost and minimum capital to open a new business.
Dealing with construction permits – Procedures, time and cost to build a warehouse.
Getting electricity – procedures, time and cost required for a business to obtain a permanent electricity connection for a newly constructed warehouse.
Registering property – Procedures, time and cost to register commercial real estate.
Getting credit – Strength of legal rights index, depth of credit information index.
Protecting investors – Indices on the extent of disclosure, extent of director liability and ease of shareholder suits.
Paying taxes – Number of taxes paid, hours per year spent preparing tax returns and total tax payable as share of gross profit.
Trading across borders – Number of documents, cost and time necessary to export and import.
Enforcing contracts – Procedures, time and cost to enforce a debt contract.
Resolving insolvency – The time, cost and recovery rate under bankruptcy proceeding
Some of the criteria adopted and the resultant outcomes have raised some eyebrows. In sixth spot lies Georgia, the former Soviet satellite stare. According to The Guardian, Georgia receives string criticism from and agencies about the widening levels if poverty. Strong in business Singapore might be, but there's no sign that the neo-liberal economic argument if trickle-down economics coming to bear, as the gap between the rich and poor widens.
Furthermore, using Oxfam's list of the world’s most unequal nations, countries high on this list also populate the upper echelons of the World Bank list. This includes Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, and the United Arab Emirates.
Also of concern, if economic equality us a measure if a thriving democracy, is the high standing if Singapore. The country us often cited by pro-Brexit conservatives in the U.K. as an optimal economic model for the U.K. adopt, should a hard Brexit become the reality in Britain's uneven attempts to leave the European Union.
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