The ‘Doing Business 2017’ report, released on Tuesday, placed Denmark behind only New Zealand and Singapore in its global rankings comparing 11 areas of business regulations in 189 countries.
The top three countries were the same as in last year’s index, although the World Bank said on Wednesday that it had made data revisions to the Doing Business 2016 report that moved Denmark up to second place overall.
Denmark’s best-in-Europe status was secured by ranking as the best country in the world to conduct trade across international borders. The Scandinavian nation also ranks in the top ten when it comes to the ease of paying business taxes, dealing with construction permits and resolving insolvency.
Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen said the government would capitalize on the World Bank report to woo more international firms to Denmark.
“It is important for our ability to attract foreign investments that Denmark is one of the world’s best places to start and run a business. We will take advantage of the excellent ranking to make even more international companies aware of Denmark as an attractive place for doing business,” he said.
All three Scandinavian countries were in the index’s top ten, with Norway at sixth and Sweden at ninth. The World Bank ranked Libya, Eritrea and Somalia as the world’s worst countries for doing business.
The report said that 137 global economies had adopted reforms to make it easier to establish and run small businesses in the past year, with the vast majority of those reforms coming in developing countries.
Paul Romer, the World Bank's chief economist and senior vice president, said that making it easier to do business helps to decrease income inequality and increase prosperity.
“Simple rules that are easy to follow are a sign that a government treats its citizens with respect. They yield direct economic benefits – more entrepreneurship; more market opportunities for women; more adherence to the rule of law,” Romer said.