New Zealand and Denmark head Forbes’ 2012 list of the best countries for business due to their strong stand on property rights and stable business communities.
The U.S. ranked 12th in 2012, continuing a trend that saw it lose ground each year since 2009, when it ranked second. High corporate taxes and the complexity of the tax code are cited for the decline.
The magazine graded 141 nations on 11 factors including innovation, taxes, corruption, stock market performance, personal freedom and trade freedom, among others. It also used information drawn from multiple sources, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the World Bank, Freedom House.
Here are the top five, as well as a couple positive attributes:
- New Zealand: Transparent and stable business climate aids entrepreneurship.
- Denmark: Strong in technology, trade freedom and property rights.
- Hong Kong: A low tax burden and high monetary freedom.
- Singapore: Ranked highly in all but one category: personal freedom.
- Canada: High trade freedom and investor protection.