European countries dominate the top 20 on the Forbes 2017 Best Countries for Business list. However, Europe’s least business-friendly country this year was Bosnia.
Bosnia ranks 97th on the list, between Tunisia and Lebanon, with a $4,700 GDP per capita and a 2% GDP growth, and a negative trade balance/GDP ratio of -4.5%. Forbes rated 153 nations on 15 different factors, including property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom, red tape and investor protection. The methodology this year didn’t include stock market performance, but workforce, infrastructure, market size, quality of life and political risk were added to provide a better gauge of how attractive a country is for capital investment.
High unemployment remains the most serious macroeconomic problem in Bosnia
The United Kingdom tops the list, despite the predictions that the British economy would collapse after the Brexit vote. The world’s second and third biggest economies, China and Japan respectively, rank 66th and 21st. China is held back by a lack of trade and monetary freedom, said Forbes. Japan has cut its corporate tax rate by eight percentage points since 2012, but its tax burden still lags the vast majority of developed nations, per the World Bank. Japan rates among the 10 nations for innovation and infrastructure.
African nations populate the worst countries for business with six of the bottom 10. Haiti is the worst performer among non-African countries. Most of these countries fare poorly on innovation, trade freedom and investor protection. Chad ranks last for the third straight year.
The United States, previously on a decade-long slide from the top spot in 2006 to 23rd last year, moved up to 12th this year thanks to improved scores relative to the rest of the world on technological readiness, innovation and trade freedom.
High unemployment remains the most serious macroeconomic problem in Bosnia, said Forbes. Public perceptions of government corruption and misuse of taxpayer money has encouraged a large informal economy to persist. National-level statistics have improved over time, but a large share of economic activity remains unofficial and unrecorded.