A shift in economic growth from the West to emerging markets over the past few decades has led to new business hubs worldwide. Regions such as Asia, the Middle East, and South America have seen rapid economic growth, coupled with improved infrastructure and, in some cases, lighter regulation.
Multinational organizations have rushed to capitalize on this, often by going through the citizenship by investment (CBI) route of a country that allows access to profitable business opportunities in markets across Asia, Africa, and Europe experiencing financial booms. In a nation like Dominica or St Kitts and Nevis, additional citizenship through CBI allows CEOs and founders to incubate healthy and growing companies. This means that entrepreneurs can avail themselves of the opportunity to set up new offices and take meetings in emerging economic markets.
The World Citizenship Report (WCR) looks at the top business hubs globally, among other motivators for individuals looking to widen their prospects. The economic opportunity motivator measures the “overall ability of a nation to extend wealth, material comfort, and other key benefits of a strong economy to all its citizens.” Click here to read the World Citizenship Report (WCR).
Other motivators explored by the WCR were Safety and Security, Quality of Life, Global Mobility, and Financial Freedom. The WCR is based on research by London-headquartered government advisory and marketing firm CS Global Partners.
So which countries are the world’s most sought-after business hubs in 2022?
- The United Kingdom
The UK scored 81.2 in the WCR, having long been one of the world’s most prominent trade and business centers. Its capital is a well-known center for foreign exchange and bond trading in addition to banking activities and insurance services. The city is a trading hub for bonds, futures, foreign exchange, and insurance. The UK’s central bank, the Bank of England, is the second oldest central bank in the world and controls the monetary system. It also has deep trade relations with Commonwealth economies like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Sweden is the fourth most competitive economy in Europe and often ranks as one of the highest-performing economies worldwide. The country ties with the UK’s score of 81.2 and is known for its strong business climate, global competitiveness, diverse language skills, and commitment to innovation. This is due primarily to the country’s free-market environment and a highly developed education system.
Denmark, which ranked in eighth place, houses some of the world’s most advanced infrastructure. Its transport system, buildings, and business facilities are highly innovative and come with a promised electricity and water supply. Its capital provides the most favorable environment in terms of knowledge and research. Denmark is also a great social welfare state with world-class programs to improve the standard of living for its citizens, making it an ideal place for doing business and living a great life.
As one of the largest economies in the world and Europe’s largest, Germany is a leading exporter of vehicles, machinery, household equipment, and chemicals. However, the biggest selling point for this country is that it has a large highly-skilled and highly-educated labor force. Although this labor force is not as affordable as in many countries on this list, as a member of the EU, Germany sits comfortably in seventh place on the WCR’s economic opportunity motivator. It enjoys strict manufacturing and production standards, elevating a brand’s competitive edge in the global market.
Switzerland scored the highest overall in the WCR but came in sixth place in the economic opportunity motivator. With an unemployment rate of only 3.3%, a burgeoning economy, and a notoriously stable political climate, Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the best countries in the world for business. The country benefits from a highly developed service sector and a manufacturing industry specializing in high-technology and knowledge-based production. It also has one of the world’s most sophisticated financial sectors, making it perfect for safe, calculated, and steady investment.
As the third-largest economy in the world and a major financial center, Japan ranked fifth for its flourishing economy. The nation is the headquarters of many of the world’s largest investment banks and insurance companies. It is also the hub for telecommunications, electronic, broadcasting, and publishing industries. The Japan Exchange Group (JPX) was established in 2013, combining the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) Group and the Osaka Securities Exchange. The exchange had a market capitalization of $5.9 trillion as of July 2021.
- The Netherlands
The Netherlands is one of the most open economies in the world and among the best countries in terms of technology and innovation, which is why it is ranked number one in Europe and Central Asia for economic opportunity. It offers an excellent infrastructure, including the largest port in Europe, a competitive business climate, and a well-educated workforce. The Dutch tax system features several tax incentives to stimulate innovation and business activities, and, as an internationally oriented country, the Netherlands is home to many highly educated foreign workers.
- Hong Kong
Hong Kong scored 83.1 in the WCR’s economic opportunity motivator since its economy has been growing steadily for the past few decades, indicating the region’s practical and economically sound business policies. As a free-market economy, Hong Kong is highly dependent on international finance and trade. It has a highly educated workforce and a well-designed transport and communication infrastructure. Hong Kong’s economy has been doing so well that it has even established itself as the go-to stock market for Chinese companies that want to trade abroad.
- The United States
The USA ranked number one in North America for its economy but second globally. The country is commonly regarded as the world’s finance capital, carrying multiple financial hubs like Chicago and San Francisco. However, New York has long been its money capital due to Wall Street, its most happening stock market, and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the largest stock exchange by market capitalization. The city provides a diverse population and workforce and hosts some of the largest companies like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and JP Morgan. It is difficult to find a big name in the business world that does not have a presence in the city.
Singapore is the highest-ranked country in the WCR, with a score of 84.8. It has become a gateway for businesses and investors trying to access the world’s fastest-growing consumer markets in China. Being in the same time zone as key Asian markets, the city is home to two Fortune 500 companies—contract electronics manufacturer Flextronics and commodities trader Wilmar International.
The island nation’s high-quality infrastructure, efficient administration, low taxes, as well as its busy shipping port and airport have made it a top choice for many international companies and their expatriate employees. The city is also home to many banking and financial services companies.
The world is not a levelled playing field, and not everyone has access to these booming financial hubs. If you’d like to learn more about attaining second citizenship through avenues like citizenship by investment, contact CS Global Partners.
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