Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sweden Best Country In The World For Business: Forbes Ranking

Via The Swedish Wire:

Sweden has been ranked the best country in the world in which to do business, according to a new survey by American magazine Forbes.

The Scandinavian country moved up four spots to the top of the charts for the first time. Forbes writes:

"Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living with its combination of free-market capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. Sweden remains outside the euro zone largely out of concern that joining the European Economic and Monetary Union would diminish the country’s sovereignty over its welfare system".

"Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Economic growth slowed in 2013, as a result of continued economic weakness in Sweden’s European trading partners; Sweden’s economy experienced modest growth in 2014-15, with real GDP growth above 2%, but continues to struggle with deflationary pressure".

A separate article adds:

“Over the past two decades the country has undergone a transformation built on deregulation and budget self-restraint with cuts to Sweden’s welfare state".

“Sweden’s government shrank jobless and disability benefits to encourage employment. The lower benefits allowed for tax cuts. The inheritance tax was scrapped in 2005 and the wealth tax was canned two years later. A new bill lowered the energy tax on data centers by 97% effective Jan. 1".

“Taxes are still high relative to the rest of the developed world, but taxes paid as a percent of profit are down eight percentage points over the past decade and the country’s tax burden rank in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business has improved 11 spots during the time".

"Sweden’s $493 billion economy grew 4.2% last year with only Ireland and Luxembourg faring better among countries that placed in the top 25 in our ranking. The Scandinavian nation has a low level of public debt relative to other European Union countries, and it benefits from its free-trade policies. The trade balance surplus was 5.2% of GDP last year. Sweden ranked among the top 10 countries in seven of the 11 categories we measured".

At a Glance

• GDP Growth: 4.2%

• GDP per Capita: $50.300

• Trade Balance/GDP: 5.2%

• Population: 10M

• Public Debt/GDP: 43%

• Unemployment: 7.4%

• Inflation: 0.7%

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