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Sri Lanka has ranked 91st out of 144 nations on Forbes’ annual list of the best countries for business in 2015, beating its closest neighbour India (97) and economic giant China (94), annual rankings showed.

In Asia, Singapore was ranked in the 8th position while Malaysia 34 while countries like Pakistan was ranked 103, Bangladesh 121, Nepal 118. However, according to rankings Sri Lanka scored poorly on metrics like trade, personal freedom and monetary freedom and Tax Burden.

Sri Lanka’s Rankings in Trade Freedom was 109, Monetary Freedom – 128, Property Rights – 72, Innovation – 41, Technology – 93, Red Tape – 80, Investor Protection – 49, Corruption – 77, Personal Freedom – 106, Tax Burden -122 and Market Performance at 46.

“The government’s high debt payments and bloated civil service have contributed to historically high budget deficits, but fiscal consolidation efforts and strong GDP growth in recent years have helped bring down the government’s fiscal deficit, but low tax revenues remain a concern. The 2008-09 global financial crisis and recession exposed Sri Lanka’s economic vulnerabilities and nearly caused a balance of payments crisis. Agriculture slowed due to a drought and weak global demand affected exports and trade. In early 2012, Sri Lanka floated the rupee, resulting in a sharp depreciation, and took steps to curb imports. A large trade deficit remains a concern, but strong remittances from Sri Lankan workers abroad help offset the trade deficit. Government debt of about 80% of GDP remains among the highest in emerging markets,” Forbes’ said.

Denmark topped the list of the 144 nations on the Best Countries of Business in 2015 list by Forbes while the US has dropped four spots to number 22, continuing a six-year descent since 2009 when it had ranked second overall.

Despite a sluggish economy, Europe dominates the top of FORBES’ annual ranking of the finest countries for capitalism—with Scandinavia as a particular stand-out. European countries represent two-thirds of the top 25 with Denmark repeating in the lead position of the Best Countries for Business.

South Africa is ranked 47th on the list followed by Mexico (53), Kazakhstan (57), Zambia (73), Ghana (79) and Russia (81).

For the full list click here

FILE PHOTO: Ministers and Deputy Ministers participate at an Ease of Doing Business Forum held recently (Pic by Chandana Wijesinghe)
FILE PHOTO: Ministers and Deputy Ministers participate at an Ease of Doing Business Forum held recently (Pic by Chandana Wijesinghe)