Only three countries topped Denmark in the World Bank's list. Photo: Tuala Hjarnø/Copenhagen Media Center
There are few places in the world better for doing business than Denmark, according to the World Bank.
The World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2015 report ranks Denmark as the fourth best country in the world – and the best in Europe – for the ease of doing business. Denmark was topped only by Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
The fourth place finish was Denmark’s highest ranking since the World Bank started its Doing Business reports in 2005.
Trade and Development Minister Mogens Jensen said the ranking would help Denmark attract international companies.
“I’m proud that Denmark is one of the countries in the world where it is easiest to start and run a company. That Denmark sits at the top of this important competition index is a real boost to our ability to retain and create new jobs by attracting more foreign investors,” Jensen said in a statement.
The World Bank pointed to business reforms made in Denmark as reasons for the country’s jump from fifth to fourth place. A key reform was the decrease in capital investment needed to start a company. Effective January 1st, the capital requirements for starting a limited liability company (anpartsselskab) was reduced from 80,000 to 50,000 kroner (from roughly $14,000 to $8,500).
The Doing Business report looks at countries’ business regulations, including the ease of starting a business, paying taxes and trading across borders. A total of ten topics were examined in 189 global economies in the new rankings.
Of the Doing Business report’s ten categories, Denmark performed best in ‘dealing with construction permits’, where it received a fifth place rank. The country’s worst category was ‘enforcing contracts’, where it came in at number 34. Denmark's country report can be viewed here.
The report found that as a whole, governments the world over had implemented a range of reforms over the past year to improve business conditions. Sub-Saharan Africa carried out the largest number of business reforms – 75 in total.
“It is very encouraging that some of the world’s poorest developing countries have implemented so many business-friendly reforms over the past year. I hope that it can contribute to getting more needed investments to the African continent and hopefully also make it more interesting for Danish companies to seek out new business opportunities,” Jensen said.
In addition to Denmark, the other four Nordic countries also ranked among the top dozen places to do business: Norway (6), Finland (9), Sweden (11) and Iceland (12).
Rita Ramalho, the lead author of the Doing Business report, discusses the survey’s results in the video below.