Singapore has retained its position as the best business environment over the next five years, according to EIU’s latest business environment rankings for the second quarter of 2023. Canada and Denmark, with tied scores, follow closely behind, largely supported by strong levels of economic and political stability. Several west European countries plus the US, Hong Kong and New Zealand make up the remaining top 10 geographies.
Across Asia, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea also rank in the global top 20. As a region, Asia’s score for policy towards foreign trade is improving. This partly reflects the impact of regional free trade agreements (FTAs) adopted in the past five years, the effects of which will be reflected in our five-year forecast period (2023-27).
“The global business environment rankings can continues to see headwinds stemming from the war in Ukraine, ensuing spike in inflation and cost-of-living crisis, and the current combination of fiscal loosening and monetary tightening amid an economic slowdown.
Our ranking for the second quarter of 2023 shows that North America and western Europe remain the best regions in the world to do business. Asia ranks third, ahead of eastern Europe, while Latin America marginally outperforms the Middle East and Africa.”
prianthi roy, Country Forecast Manager and Europe Analyst, EIU
The biggest improvements over the past year are in Vietnam, Thailand, Belgium, Sweden, India and Costa Rica. Vietnam is the overall biggest mover worldwide, climbing 12 spots in the rankings, while Thailand improves by ten places and India by six.
The biggest deteriorations are in China, Bahrain, Chile and Slovakia. China is the biggest loser globally, falling by 11 spots in the second-quarter rankings compared with a year earlier. Although the end of the zero-covid policy is positive for firms operating in China, regulatory changes stemming from the statist direction of economic policy as well as rising local costs weigh on its business environment and limit opportunities for international investors.
EIU’s business environment rankings report is available free of charge at: eiu.com/business-environment-rankings