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Best place to do business? Even Kazakhstan & Ghana are ahead of India

Last updated on: December 17, 2015 11:44 IST

India

Image: A worker sits on a truck loaded with baskets of tomatoes at a wholesale vegetable market in New Delhi. Photograph: Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

India has many challenges that it has yet to fully address, including poverty, corruption, violence and discrimination against women and girls

India has ranked a low 97th out of 144 nations, behind Kazakhstan and Ghana, on Forbes' annual list of the best countries for business in 2015, scoring poorly on metrics like trade and monetary freedom and tackling challenges like corruption and violence.

Copenhagen

Image: Boats are seen anchored at the 17th century Nyhavn district, home to many shops and restaurants in Copenhagen. Photograph: Bob Strong/Reuters

Denmark topped the list of the 144 nations on the Best Countries of Business in 2015 list by Forbes.

The US has dropped four spots to number 22, continuing a six-year descent since 2009 when it had ranked second overall.

A Charlie Brown balloon floats make their way down 6th Ave during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

Image: A Charlie Brown balloon floats make their way down 6th Ave during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

The US is the financial capital of the world and its largest economy at $17.4 trillion (China is second at $10.4 trillion), but it scores poorly on monetary freedom and bureaucracy/red tape, Forbes said.

India is ranked 97th on the list, with Forbes saying that while the country is developing into an open-market economy, traces of its ‘past autarkic policies’ remain.

"The outlook for India's long-term growth is moderately positive due to a young population and corresponding low dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and increasing integration into the global economy.

The Indian community groups in United Kingdom have launched a ‘Modi Express’ bus for a month-long tour around iconic landmarks to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to the country in November.

Image: The Indian community groups in United Kingdom have launched a ‘Modi Express’ bus for a month-long tour around iconic landmarks to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to the country in November.¬¬ Photograph: Kind courtesy, Resham Kotecha/Twitter

"However, India has many challenges that it has yet to fully address, including poverty, corruption, violence and discrimination against women and girls, an inefficient power generation and distribution system, ineffective enforcement of intellectual property rights, decades-long civil litigation dockets, inadequate transport and agricultural infrastructure, limited non-agricultural employment opportunities," Forbes said.

The publication added that India faces other challenges like high spending and poorly-targeted subsidies, inadequate availability of quality basic and higher education, and accommodating rural-to-urban migration.

Japanese women in kimonos walk during heavy snowfall at Toshimaen amusement park in Tokyo.

Image: Japanese women in kimonos walk during heavy snowfall at Toshimaen amusement park in Tokyo. Photograph: Yuya Shino/Reuters

Forbes further said that growth in India last year fell to a decade low, as its economic leaders struggled to improve the country's wide fiscal and current account deficits.

"However, investors' perceptions of India improved in early 2014, due to a reduction of the current account deficit and expectations of post-election economic reform, resulting in a surge of inbound capital flows and stabilisation of the rupee," it said.

Berlin Wall

Image: A view of Johannesburg. Photographs: Euroluftbild.de Euroluftbild.de/Reuters

The country performed moderately well on certain factors, ranking eighth on investor protection, 41st on innovation, 57th on personal freedom and 61st on property rights.

Johannesburg

Image: A view of Johannesburg. Photographs: Euroluftbild.de Euroluftbild.de/Reuters

It scored low on trade freedom, ranking 125th and on monetary freedom it ranked 139th.

On technology it ranked 120th, 77th on corruption and 123rd on red tape.

The United Kingdom and Japan both moved up three spots to No 10 and No 23 respectively. Germany improved two places to No 18 and China rose from No 97 to No 94.

Mexico

Image: Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral. Photograph: FrankMX /Wikimedia Commons

South Africa is ranked 47th on the list followed by Mexico (53), Kazakhstan (57), Zambia (73), Ghana (79), Russia (81), Sri Lanka (91), Pakistan (103) and Bangladesh (121).

The very bottom of the list features a number of emerging markets restrained by high levels of corruption and little freedom.

Yoshita Singh in New York
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