World Bank say Britain is better than Germany AND France for businesses: UK ranks seventh in list by global watchdog

  • The UK was ranked seventh in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report
  • The only other nations above the UK were South Korea, Hong Kong and the US
  • German and French politicians sought to tempt businesses to relocate from UK

Britain is one of the best countries in the world in which to do business, according to a report by a leading global watchdog.

The UK was ranked seventh in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report – leaving European rivals including Germany and France trailing in its wake.

The findings underlined just how difficult it will be for countries on the Continent to poach business from Britain following Brexit.

German and French politicians in particular have sought to tempt businesses to relocate from the UK to cities including Frankfurt, Berlin and Paris.

In a desperate bid to attract bankers currently based in London, France even ran an advertising campaign with the slogan: ‘Tired of the fog? Try the Frogs!’

But Denmark was the only European country to be ranked higher than Britain in the World Bank report, taking third spot behind New Zealand in first and Singapore in second.

The only other nations above the UK were South Korea in fourth, Hong Kong in fifth and the United States in sixth.

Germany was ranked the 20th best country in the world in which to do business while Spain was 28th, France 31st and Italy 46th.

The rankings were based on a range of factors including how easy it is to start a business, secure funding, access electricity and deal with construction rules.

The World Bank also praised the low level of tax faced by small businesses – something that could be reversed by Jeremy Corbyn who has pledged to raise corporation tax if Labour wins power.

The UK’s position was unchanged on last year and made a mockery of claims that the Brexit vote represented a turn inwards towards more protectionist policies.

Rita Ramalho, acting director of the global indicators group at the World Bank, said: ‘The UK is a good place to do business because it is simple and very affordable to start a new business. The tax burden on small and medium size businesses is low and easy to comply with, the process of importing and exporting is straightforward, and commercial courts are very efficient.’

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney recently described the vote to leave the EU as an example of ‘de-globalisation not globalisation’ – making it a ‘unique’ event in the past 50 years.

But Brexit campaigner John Longworth, the former head of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: ‘The World Bank has once again placed Britain high on the list of best places to do business. With the freedoms that Brexit will bring there is no reason why the UK cannot be the number one place in the world.’

Britain’s status as a leading country in which to do business is underlined by record levels of employment.

There are now 32.1million people in work in the UK – up from 29.2million in 2010 while unemployment has fallen to a 42-year low of 4.3 per cent.

By contrast, unemployment in the eurozone has remains stubbornly high at 8.9 per cent, with the jobless rate at 9.7 per cent in France, 11.1 per cent in Italy and 16.7 per cent in Spain. 

November 1st, 2017: Daily Mail