Best countries to invest in
The “Best Countries to Invest In” survey is conducted by BAV Consulting, a brand strategy research agency, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Its results are based on scores from more than 6,000 business decision makers. The list was published in March this year.
This year there are a total of five Asian countries in the Top 10. These countries have experienced rapid infrastructure development in recent years, along with increased construction activity across all their major cities. With their skyscrapers and impressive skylines, they look no different to cities in more developed countries all over the world. We outline the list in detail below.
Infrastructure development is accelerating in Jakarta. You can get permission to start a business in 3 days.
Indonesia has shown remarkable economic growth in recent years, with the construction of an extensive railway network and the development of ports. Small businesses can apply to the “One Stop Shop” for permission to start a business, with permits usually issued within 3 business days.
Abundant resources of oil and natural gas. Also a base for a large number of American universities.
Qatar boasts abundant natural resources. In 2015 its GDP growth rate was an impressive 4.7%. It has a 13.1% share of the world market for natural gas, which, along with oil, is the principal driver of the domestic economy. The number of overseas researchers and students in Qatar is growing, with the state attracting increased attention from investors as a center for research worldwide.
English widely spoken. 1,400 start-ups launched in 2016.
Investment activity is picking up in Israel, especially in the high-tech sector. A number of start-ups from all over the world have launched here, with Israel’s reputation as a research and development base growing strongly amongst foreign investors. In 2016, overseas investment was $12 billion dollars.
A highly attractive country to invest in, although natural disasters have been an issue.
Entrepreneurs and investors have come here from all over the world. Economic conditions remain uncertain given episodes of civil unrest in Bangkok. The Foreign Business Act of 1999 has promoted liberalization and regulatory reform in finance, telecommunications and technology, making it easier for overseas investors to enter the market.
A country full of world-class engineers. Technology expertise continues to evolve.
India, with a population of over 1.25 billion, has a population structure which is ideally suited to overseas investment. It has the second highest population in the world after China. In recent years, its economy has stagnated, affected by the growth of China, but it continues to attract the attention of investors especially in engineering start-ups. There are some foreign currency restrictions in place, and investment in some types of business is limited.
Steady 3% GDP growth. An attractive European investment destination.
Poland has become more popular amongst investors because of its economic growth track record and its relatively low real estate prices. European investors have been especially active, but in recent years there has also been increased interest in Polish real estate from Asia and from the United States. EU membership, a low rate of unemployment, and a favorable economic infrastructure with stable consumer spending make the country additionally attractive. GDP growth was 3% in 2015.
One of the world’s best state welfare systems, with a highly educated and dependable workforce.
Denmark is the only Scandinavian country in the ranking. Its highly educated workforce, advanced infrastructure, large numbers of scientists and engineers, and its well-developed real estate market make the country attractive for overseas investors. It is not vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods, and its technology to cope with cold weather is continually improving.
3. Czech Republic
Good access to major European industrial cities.
The Czech Republic is one of the most popular destinations amongst the countries of Central and Eastern Europe for direct foreign investment, following its entry into the EU in 2004 and the introduction of investment incentives. Access from Prague, the capital city, to major industrial areas in neighboring Europe such as Barcelona, Athens and Amsterdam, is good, which adds to its attractions as a strategic investment location.
Popular for international investment. Widespread use of English is an added advantage.
Singapore is in second place. It is the center of the Asian economy, with its stable financial position and economy an attractive combination for overseas investors. The rate of population growth, which has been a driver of economic growth, has fallen back since 2015, but remains stable. Of all the Asian countries, it is the one where English is most widely used. This has significantly boosted its profile with investors.
Very popular with investors, with a wide range of investment attractions.
Malaysia was deemed the best country to invest in for overseas investors. In many countries, including Japan, you cannot take out a loan unless you are a permanent resident or have the appropriate visa, but in Malaysia you can. Furthermore, if you have government approval, even foreigners can own property. In addition, the warm climate makes it an easy place to live all year round. Economic growth remains strong and prices remain low.
All of the countries highlighted have relatively low inflation rates. In overseas investment, external factors clearly have a bearing on the success or otherwise of any investment, so avoiding the risk of potential devaluation of spending power due to inflation is a priority.
Worldwide decision makers in business are now focusing more attention on Asian countries than ever before, and this appears to be yielding positive investment results for them. Climactic conditions and natural hazards are important factors to take into account, as is whether or not English is widely spoken. But ultimately the key deciding factor is whether or not investors are happy to live in a particular country, or to visit it on a regular basis.