New Zealand Ranks Second in Forbes' Best Countries for Business 2013

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By Reissa Su | December 5, 2013 4:01 PM EST

New Zealand is declared by Forbes as the second best country for business in 2013 following Ireland which moved up to the top of the list from sixth place in 2012. Forbes listed New Zealand as the top country for business in 2012.

Despite dropping a spot, New Zealand remains one of the fastest growing nations with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 2.5 per cent in 2012. New Zealand may be the smallest in the list of countries best for business, it boasts a $170 billion economy.

The country also achieved the best scores among the countries in categories like investor protection, personal freedom and lack of bureaucracy. New Zealand was recently named the least corrupt country in the world by Transparency International.

Meanwhile, the United States ranked poorly at number 51 for its excessive tax burden. According to Forbes, the U.S. statutory corporate tax rates are the highest in the world among developed nations. The country minimises the burden by allowing tax breaks. A medium-sized business in the U.S. will need 175 hours to comply with tax laws in the U.S., according to the World Bank.

In Forbes' Best Countries for Business which is now on its eighth year, Ireland takes the lead for the first time. Despite its economic woes, the country continues to attract investments from some of the biggest companies in the world. Ireland scored high in terms of business friendliness, low tax burden,  investor protection and personal freedom.

Forbes determines the Best Countries for Business by ranking 145 countries based on 11 different factors like innovation, taxes, technology, corruption,  property rights, red tape, investor protection and stock market performance. 

The data used in determining the best and worst countries for business were based on published reports from World Bank, World Economic Forum, Transparency International, Freedom House, Heritage Foundation and Property Rights Alliance.

Following Ireland and New Zealand in 3rd place is Hongkong, Denmark in 4th and Sweden in 5th place. Canada is in 8th place, Australia 11th and United Kingdom in 12th place in the Best Countries for Business.

At the bottom of the list or the worst country for business in 2013 is Guinea. Despite having the half of the world's bauxite reserves, the country has been unable to take advantage of its potential due to rampant corruption and political uncertainty.  

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