Denmark best in Europe for doing business

Denmark was ranked as the fourth best country in the world for ease of doing business in a new report from the World Bank.

Denmark best in Europe for doing business
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.  

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Danish uni upwardly mobile on Young University Rankings

Aalborg University climbed eight places as Times Higher Education (THE) announced its Young University Rankings list Wednesday.

Danish uni upwardly mobile on Young University Rankings
Photo: Aalborg Universitet

Moving from a position of 31st in last year’s table to 23rd on the new list, Aalborg University (AAU) is described by THE as “providing students with academic excellence, cultural engagement and personal development since its inception in 1974.”

The university – which also has campuses in Copenhagen and Esbjerg – is also placed in the 201-250th range in the Times Higher Education list for all international universities, which was released last year.

Aalborg itself was voted the happiest city in Europe in 2016.

AAU’s rector Per Michael Johansen The Local that the new ranking was a “huge pat on the back” for all involved at the university.

“We have talented researchers and colleagues and it is clear that a high placing on a well-regarding ranking like this makes us more recognisable and therefore able to attract talented international researchers,” Johansen said.

The Times Higher Education 200 Under 50 Rankings 2017 applies the same 13 performance indicators as the THE World University Rankings. These indicators are recalibrated to reflect the missions of younger, more dynamic institutions and grouped into five areas: teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income.

READ ALSO: Uni of Copenhagen ‘second best in Continental Europe’

“It is no easy task to appear in the 2017 Young University Rankings, which use the same 13 rigorous and demanding performance indicators as the overall World University Rankings. Institutions must demonstrate high standards of performance across teaching, research, international outlook and knowledge transfer,” said Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education rankings, via a press release.

The ranking, published for the sixth year, includes 200 institutions for the first time, expanded from 150 (formally known as Times higher Education 150 Under 50).

A total of 48 countries are represented on the list.

Johansen said that although it is an extremely long process for a university to build up a world-class reputation, the progress made by AAU on the list was evidence that the university was doing things in the right way.

“A wise man once said that if you want to make your city famous, you should build a university and then wait 200 years. It takes an extremely long time to build up prestigious reputations. When you consider that Denmark’s oldest university was founded in 1479, I think the progress we have made in just 43 years is quite excellent,” he said.

Universities under 50 years old are exciting, dynamic institutions, often located outside the traditional strongholds of the US and UK, according to Times Higher Education.

Germany has 11 institutions in the ranking including five in the top 30, and Asia also performs well with institutions from Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea taking five places in the top ten.

In addition to Aalborg, Roskilde University also made it on to the list, ranked in the 101-150 section.

The full THE Young University Ranking list can be found here.