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The country rating world guide completes the real world in giving a specific appreciation country by country.

I recall you the main conclusions of the long term global trend:

-In 2030, 3.1 billion inhabitants overall, i.e. 1/3 of the world's population, will enjoy good incomes.

-North and South America and Europe will retain high standards of living.

-Central Asia and the Middle East will remain poor.

-The situation in Africa will be catastrophic.

1. Methodology 2. Results


This country rating guide covers 137 countries where I have worked and sojourned and also those I just visited. Taking in account my experience, even a short visit gives me enough facts to formulate a rough appreciation.

Country leaders who want to have their country rated or who think that their present country rating could be updated can ask me a new survey: About the conditions, see Global Coaching. As a result, this unique country rating world guide is constantly updated.

This practical guide has nothing to do with the country rating established by the big rating agencies which are dedicated to institutional investors such as bank making loans in foreign countries: A good rating indicates that regarding some big pictures, the country will be able to pay back its loans.

Although such a global rating could be useful, it does not fit to a small investor who needs more sensitive or qualitative information's such as the behavior of opinion toward small business or the quality of human relations between boss and employees.

Consequently, our Rating takes mainly in account:

-Security of properties and persons: Countries suffering from civil or foreign wars are systematically rated with red stars.

-Legal protection of properties and ability to repatriate money.

-Infrastructures such as power energy, telecom's, roads, airports and so on.

-Ratio cost quality of the labor force.

-Governance behavior toward business: I cannot recommend a country where State regulations and heavy tax pressure prevent any biz to expect a reasonable profit!

-Economic prospects such as the size of internal market and /or the openness to foreign trade.

It's difficult to weight each condition. It means that the rating reflects a global appreciation rather than a mathematical notation.

I underline the fact that this rating only applies to small business. A transnational corporate can invest in a dog state because it has some means of pressure on the local authorities: For example, oil and gold mining corporate's are currently investing in countries which are rated with three or four red stars by us!

With this reservation, the guide applies both to the citizens who want to invest in their own country and to the foreigners who aim to implement their new biz in a foreign country. Considering globalization the appreciation tends to be the same: Nevertheless, in our short comments, we take notice of the difference (notably in case of necessary or compulsory joint ventures).

Each country is rated with stars.

-Five blue stars: ***** mean the best possible conditions to start a new biz.

-Four blue stars: **** mean very good conditions.

-Three blue stars: *** mean good conditions.

-Two blue stars: ** mean acceptable conditions.

-One blue star: * mean that it is worth to invest but you can meet some hurdles.

-One to five red stars: * mean inversely that we do not recommend to invest in this country.

A + or a - added to the stars introduces a slight differentiation between countries with the same number of stars.

1. Methodology 2. Results


1-USA: *****+ : USA of course! The imperial kingdom of free enterprise. The big States such as Calif or Texas should be privileged. If you need a cool environment, move to the rocky mountains States such as Colorado, Montana or Arizona.

2-United Kingdom: ***** : The grand mother of free biz. Certainly, the best place if you intend to export toward the entire world (In this case, London has to be chosen). Just some figures: the number of days strike amounts 1% of the total of working days against 6% in the european community. The labor cost represents 50% of the german cost! Quite all the costs such as energy show the same trend!

3-Canada, Australia: ****+ : Canada is close to the States. Australia offers the best living conditions in the world ( Sydney and Perth notably).

5-Ireland: **** : A celtic tiger! Best location in the Euro land. The lower cost of labor in the entire European Union.

6-New Zealand: ****- : Same comments as for Australia. Beware about ecological regulations.

-Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan: ****- : Japan is a mature economy with a weak banking sector. The high rate of Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan are justified by their openness to the huge chinese market. Anyway, recall that a good implementation could take a lot of time and money.

-Switzerland, Luxembourg, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco: ****- : These rating are due to the high GDP per capita and the banking network. To be implemented in such countries give a quality label (in Swiss notably)

17-China ***+ : A lot of uncertainties and risks but it's worth to assume because of the market size. A joint venture with chinese partners is quite necessary.

-India: ***+ : India has the biggest domestic market in the world but there is too much bureaucracy. As for China, you should need a joint venture and a lot of patience. On the other hand, investment in India is less risked than in China because the political situation of the biggest world democracy is quite stable ( maybe influence of religion and british education of the high establishment). What's more: huge growth rate: 10%!

-Spain: ***+: Spain has benefited of the European community and registers a high growth rate. There is a lot of small business opportunities in the Costa del sol with increasing residential retired persons coming from the entire Europe.

20-Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, Iceland: *** : A lot of State regulations and a slow growth in all these old countries. It's compensated by the staff quality due to a very high level in education standards. What is more, polite and civilized relationship are prevalent between the boss and the trade unions. Integrity is emphasized and corruption quite nonexistent in the Nordic countries.

I just come back from a short trip in Iceland: the highest GDP per capita in Europe. Only 300,000 inhabitants!

-France, Italy, Belgium: *** : France has good infrastructures, good quality of staff but the opinion and the elite are not inclined too much toward small biz. Middle class suffers with increased labor regulations and taxes pressures. As a result, thousands of french entrepreneurs have crossed the channel or even gone to America.

Italy suffers from its south part and has registered a slow growth during the last ten years. Nevertheless, the new reforms can boost the growth. Invest only in the north part.

Belgium is central in Europe with low regulations. It's the headquarter of European Union and NATO. It appears to be a good location with a people very friendly to small business.

-Germany, Austria: *** : Global standards are decreasing. Obviously, Germany suffers from its eastern former communist part: People were more trained to denounce than to work hard! What is more, german labor costs are the higher in Europe. However, remind that Germany represents the biggest market in Europe.

31-Mexico, Thailand, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic :***-: Mexico is a fast growing economy which benefits from EFTA, a friendly biz new government, large internal and external Markets. I make up some mental reservations about the revolutionary tradition ( "commandant Marcos" and so on) and consequently about the motivations of unskilled workers.

With Singapore, Thailand is the best location in South East Asia and a very safe place.

Poland is the best guess in eastern Europe.

36-Hungary, Portugal, Greece, Brazil, Mauritius, Dominican Republic, Chile: **+ : A lot of emerging countries very inclined to business with sound stability, good or medium infrastructures, and free export Zone: Well adapted for small business.

Brazil was the best location in South America. Friendly people and government, dynamism and the kindness of the population, first class infrastructures in the southern area, large internal market, huge prospects, few State regulations (Private police and so on). Unfortunately, the recent change in political power brings a lot of uncertainties.

-Ukraine, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia: **+: You will need a joint venture in these countries. The quality of management Russia calls for reservations. However, all these countries benefit of high growth rates.

-Philippines: **+ : A friendly country with a large domestic market.

49-Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria : ** : Slovenia and Croatia could offer new opportunities for ecological tourism. Romania and Bulgaria will join the European Union by 2007 and presently enjoy high growth rates.

53-Bahamas, Gibraltar, Jersey, Cyprus, Malta, Panama: **- : A group of small countries specialized in banking and off shore business with limited opportunities except in tourism.

-Maldives, Seychelles, French Antilles, St Marteen, St Barth, Tonga, Cooks Islands, Easter Island: **- : Only tourism in these countries. Maldives is the best sea resort in the world!

67-Argentina, Ecuador, Guatemala, French Guyana: *+:: It's a pity to see Argentina in such a position but there is something wrong with this country. Ecuador and also the so fascinating Guatemala may offer better opportunities. There are also a lot of business to do in French Guyana in connection with the launching of satellites and the discovery of the amazonian rainforest.

71-Bolivia, Peru, Madagascar, Gabon, Benin, Lao, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mongolia * : Limited prospects in Andin countries. Thank to its new democratic president, Madagascar should emerge from the grand corruption of former dictatorship: Good opportunities exist in import export and once again in tourism business. Thanks to oil business, Gabon is a peaceful African emirate. Benin could be a safe basis to export towards Nigeria. Laos and Vietnam are still two communist countries but they show a real openness to foreign investments. However, bureaucracy and corruption are prevalent in these two countries. With its 80 million inhabitants Vietnam could offer serious opportunities in the near future. Due to the islamic pressure, Malaysia and Indonesia have been downgraded.

81-French Polynesia, French Caledonia: *- : Thanks for a special statute, you get the french infrastructures and legal protection without the States and taxes regulations! What is more, there is a friendly population and a very well oriented local government. Unfortunately, it 's quite far from everywhere. Many possibilities remain in tourism business.

-Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Georgia, Armenia, Bosnia: *-: These countries could enter in the european community.

Right now, we shall cross the red line:

91-Israel: *: A very friendly country, with high tech opportunities. Unfortunately no investment prospects during war time.

-Jordan: *: Jordan is the best business location in the entire Arab Middle East: Friendly and reliable people, total security, good infrastructures and a strong inclination toward small business.

Although Jordan does not possess oil and raw materials ( except salt and phosphates), the GDP per capita is one of the higher in the arab world. According to our theory, this situation illustrates the fact that creativity, good governance and friendly business are more important than any raw materials! Unfortunately, the Hachemite Kingdom is threatened by the islamists.

93-Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Oman: ** : You should need a joint ventures in Emirates. The former note was justified by First class infrastructures, good working force coming from the entire world and many possibilities in fine and luxury goods business. Due to the increase of Islamism, I have downgraded these countries-.

-Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, : **: Same comments as above. Turkey should not enter in the European community.

-Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Ethiopia, Kenya: ** : These countries have gotten a democratic governance. Unfortunately, infrastructures are very bad (Power, Telecom, Roads, and so on). Labor is cheap but you have interest to include a vocational training module in any investment. However, workers have a good spirit and you can get a very motivated staff.

There are some opportunities in tourism in these countries: Sea resorts in Senegal; the coastal castles in Ghana; Timbuktu, the Dogon and Mopti area in Mali; a lot of fascinating sites in Ethiopia and finally games in Kenya. Except Senegal and Kenya where tourism business has been developed for long, all these possibilities remain largely unexploited and are waiting for investors.

-South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania : ** :As a result of the Joburg summit, I heavily downgrade the rating of South Africa and Namibia. In my opinion, the next african tragedy will take place in these two countries due to the propagation of the Mugabe racist policy. Insecurity for white farmers is growing in the region.

109-Suriname, Fiji, Comoros, Mayotte, Djibouti, Burkina, Niger, Cameroon, Central africa: *** : Political instability, Grand corruption, bad economic prospects.

-Nepal, Tibet, Burma, Cambodia, Togo, Mauritania, Ivory coast, Chad: *** : Special situations and remnant civil wars.

126-Colombia, Iraq, Algeria, Yemen:****: Fierce civil wars. Countries very dangerous for westerners.

-Iran, Cuba, Syria, libya, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon *****: Rogue States! I have downgraded Saudi Arabia since it appears more and more as the mother State of muslim fundamentalism:

136-Burundi, Sudan: ***** : No comments.

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External readings

You can complete this overview with the CIA famous web site:

Go to This guide gives detailed informations about every country in the world.

Go to .This web site is dedicated for living and traveling in canada.

Go to . This web site is the best gateway to latin America and notably Mexico.

The following web site gives you a directory of the chambers of commerce in the entire world:

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