What nations are business-friendly?
Update: Oops. The above is from last year's report. Here is the just released Doing Business 2007. The top three nations are still Singapore, New Zealand, and the United States (although Singapore is now #1).
If you were opening a new business in Lao PDR, the start-up procedures would take 198 days. If you were opening one in Syria, you would have to put up $61,000 in minimum capital—51 times average annual income. If you were building a warehouse in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the fees for utility hook-up and compliance with building regulations would amount to 87 times average income. And if you ran a business in Guatemala, it would take you 1,459 days to resolve a simple dispute in the courts. If you were paying all business taxes in Sierra Leone, they would take 164% of your company’s gross profit...
New Zealand has the most business-friendly regulation in the world, as measured by the Doing Business indicators (table 1.2). Singapore is the runner-up. The United States is third. Five other East Asian countries—Hong Kong (China), Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Korea—are among the top 30. So are the Baltic countries—Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Their ranking is a remarkable achievement, as only a decade has passed since they first began reforms.