Canada: Best for business

Canadians have another reason to feel proud. The prestigious magazine, Forbes, ranked Canada as the best country in the world for business, moving up from fourth place last year.

The U.S., by comparison, moved down one spot from 2010 and it currently ranks 10th. (According to the report, this is Uncle Sam’s poorest performance since Forbes started comparing countries back in 2006.) In 2007, the U.S. ranked No.1.

Forbes based its ranking on 11 different factors including property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom, red tape, investor protection and stock market performance.

According to the report: “Canada’s standing as a business friendly locale has improved thanks to tax reform over the past two years. It also scores highly as far as trade freedom, investor protection, low corruption and minimal red tape.”

Other strengths that were cited include the conservative lending practices by Canadian banks, which have “made them among the strongest in the world as financial institutions in the U.S. and Europe melted down” and the country’s vast natural resources such as oil, uranium and water.

Yet, Canada leans on the U.S. economy heavily. Canada is the United States’ biggest oil supplier, and each year, three-quarters of its exports end up there. And while the unemployment rate in the U.S has stayed above 9 per cent, it’s 7.3 per cent in Canada. (In the eurozone, the unemployment rate is 10 per cent, according to Forbes.)

Are we entering the Canadian century?

Canada beat out New Zealand and Hong Kong, which placed second and third respectively in the overall rankings. Last year’s winner, Denmark, dropped to 5th place as its stock market fell 14 per cent.

Here is the top 10 list:

1. Canada
2. New Zealand
3. Hong Kong
4. Ireland
5. Denmark
6. Singapore
7. Sweden
8. Norway
9. United Kingdom
10.United States

The lowest ranking countries? Bringing up the rear are Burundi (No.132), Zimbabwe (No.133) and Chad (No.134).  

Watch a video on Best Countries for Business — with some light-hearted Canadian trivia thrown in!


Find out more about the report here.