U.S. News ranks Thailand Best Country to start a business

Location, location, location. Most business advisors stress that location is one of the most important decisions when starting a business. And according to U.S. News & World Report the best country in the world to start a business is the Kingdom of Thailand.

In the second annual Best Countries rankings published March 7 and developed by U.S. News and World Report in collaboration with the Wharton School of Business and Young & Rubicam global communications firm, Thailand finished first in the world in the category of Best Countries to Start a Business, topping advanced nations such as Singapore and global powerhouses such as Germany, South Korea and China.

Thailand also finished sixth in the world in the category of Best Countries to Invest In and finished 21st overall when all categories were combined. U.S. News wrote that its Best Countries “platform leverages data to help citizens, business leaders and policymakers better understand how public policy impacts a nation’s brand, and in turn, influences investment.”

The findings support the reforms initiated over the past three years by the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and this economic czar Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak. Faced with increasing competition from countries in the region and beyond, they have striven to increase ease of doing business to maintain Thailand’s attractiveness to foreign investors.

The Best Countries web portal evaluates 60 countries across 24 rankings drawn from a survey of more than 16,000 global citizens, “measuring 75 dimensions that have the potential to drive trade, travel and investment and directly affect national economies,” according to U.S News.

Setting up a new business in Thailand takes an average of 28 days, and “new business density is one of the lowest in the region, leaving room for hopeful entrepreneurs,” U.S. News wrote, adding that Thailand was the second most affordable country for business decision makers.

“A substantial agriculture sector and competitive manufacturing industry have kept Thailand strong and growing with low poverty and unemployment rates. It is the world’s largest exporter of rice and a leader in textiles, tin and electronics. Western education and technology have been absorbed into a devout Buddhist society,” the magazine wrote.

Thailand also finished fourth in Adventure, eighth in Heritage, fourth in Movers, 10th in Open for Business, 20th in Cultural Influence and 23rd in Quality of Life.

The Best Country overall was Germany and the United States finished fourth behind Canada and the United Kingdom.