Best Countries for business: Philippines ranks 91st

Forbes ranked the Philippines ranked only 91st in countries ranked for best for doing business.  Fortunately for us, last on the list, #s 126-128 were Chaz, Zimbabwe and Venezuela as the worst countries ranked.

The U.S. dropped from No. 2 to No. 9 in our fifth annual ranking of the Best Countries for Business. Blame the high tax burden and a poor showing on trade and monetary freedom compared with many other developed nations. The 35% federal corporate tax rate is the highest of any OECD country according to the Tax Foundation. Meanwhile the government’s significant intervention in the economy during the economic downturn has weakened economic freedom in the U.S. One bright spot for America: It still ranks first when it comes to innovation.

Grabbing the top spot for a third straight year is Denmark. Its $309 billion economy struggled in 2009, like the rest of the world, with GDP down 4.7%, but when it comes to advantageous business climates the Danes reign supreme. Denmark scored in the top five among all countries in four of the 11 categories we considered as part of the ranking, including property rights, technology, corruption and personal freedom.

A big mover up the rankings is Hong Kong, which swapped places with the U.S., moving up to No. 2 from No. 9. It scored in the top three for taxes, investor protection and both trade and monetary freedom. The Hong Kong economy has bounced back more quickly than others as it established closer ties to China through tourism, trade and financial links.

One of the most business-friendly environments can be found in New Zealand, ranked No. 3 (up from No. 5 last year). New Zealand’s economy has undergone many free-market reforms and today relies heavily on international trade and tourism. It was alone in first in three of the factors we considered including corruption (lack thereof), investor protection and red tape for starting a business. GDP per capita of $27,400 still lags many OECD countries, but overall GDP declined only 1.6% in 2009, less than half the average of our top 10 countries, which was -3.5%. New Zealand also boasts the lowest ratio of public debt to GDP of any of our top 10 at 22%. Rounding out the top 10 are, in order, Canada, Singapore, Ireland, Sweden, Norway and the U.K. (10th).

All economic data for 2009. Market performance for 12 months to Aug. 19. Rankings: 1 = best in category, = substantial improvement, = substantial deterioration. Sources: Heritage Foundation (Economic Freedom Index); World Economic Forum (Global Competitiveness Report); Transparency International (Corruption Perceptions Index); Freedom House (Personal Freedom Index); World Bank (Doing Business); Central Intelligence Agency (World Factbook); Property Rights Alliance (International Property Rights Index).

Rank Name GDP Growth (%) GDP/Capita ($) Trade Balance as % of GDP Population (mil) Federal Budget Balance as % of GDP
1 Denmark -4.7 36,000 2.9 5.5 41.6
2 Hong Kong -2.8 42,800 8.7 7.1 37.4
3 New Zealand -1.6 27,400 -2.8 4.2 22.2
4 Canada -2.5 38,200 -2.7 33.5 75.4
5 Singapore -1.3 52,200 14.3 4.7 113.1
6 Ireland -7.6 41,000 -2.9 4.2 57.7
7 Sweden -5.1 36,600 7.3 9.1 35.8
8 Norway -1.5 57,400 14.4 4.7 60.6
9 United States -2.6 46,000 -2.9 307.2 52.9
10 United Kingdom -4.9 34,800 -1.5 61.1 54
11 Finland -8.1 34,100 1.2 5.3 44
12 Australia 1.3 40,000 -3.0 21.3 17.6
13 Netherlands -3.9 39,500 5.4 16.7 62.2
14 Belgium -2.7 36,800 0.9 10.4 97.6
15 Switzerland -1.5 41,400 7.3 7.6 40.5
16 Israel 0.2 28,400 3.7 7.2 78.4
17 Luxembourg -3.4 79,600 18.1 0.5 14.9
18 Iceland -6.5 39,600 -3.4 0.3 107.6
19 Estonia -14.1 18,500 4.7 1.3 7.2
20 Germany -4.9 34,100 4.0 82.3 72.1
21 France -2.5 32,600 -2.1 64.4 77.5
22 Cyprus -1.5 21,000 -8.6 1.1 56.2
23 Chile -1.7 14,600 2.6 16.6 6.1
24 Portugal -2.7 21,700 -10.3 10.7 76.9
25 Taiwan


  1. That’s unfortunate for the Philippines. With the hostage incident in Quirino and all the terrorism going on the country, we will be behind. Hongkong and Singapore are really outstanding countries.

  2. It is a constant annoyance that these sort of sites publish , misleading , innacurate and and out of date statistics. Once again they are wrong on this site

    Example: Just one…Australia now has a larger GDP PPP han that of the USA (and Germany, France and the UK!) Currently the united nations ranks it at No 2 just behind Norway, mainly for Norways great social security services , which has the oft not mentioned trade off of making it a very overtaxed society. In a country that is not that large in size with a small population, this assits in skewing results as well, particularly interesting to note that Norway is close to so many other nations that basically form the hub of world trade and technical know how. Australia by comparrison is on the far side of the world away from any one – yet still outperforms most, in a large geographical land with a small population it now has the 9th largest ecomomy in the entire world, (not bad for 20 mil people) as well as 100% literacy rate, one of, if not the best of longevity for its citizens of any country on the planet , blessed with stability of management, liberty and freedom, and unemployment half that of the United States a climate to die for and excellent free public health, education and social security services. I have also noted that the CIA worldbook stats are often VERY out of date and also with unreliable, misinformed information. It is sometimes wise when making statements of the nature on this site to look a bit more deeply at the answers to the statiscal questions rather than just accept what some one else publishes!

  3. anouncement to all countries !
    in a 2050 philippines is the richest and powerful counrty !why!
    becuase i have a dream hehehehe!

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