For the third year in a row, Bloomberg Rankings presents its exclusive analysis of the world's most attractive countries for business according to 2013 data.
Hong Kong again tops the list, thanks in part to the low cost of starting a business there. Canada jumped from sixth place to second largely because of the receptivity of its consumers, measured by the size of its middle class, household consumption and GDP per capita. The U.S. fell from second to third place, as the cost of setting up a business there increased considerably relative to other countries.
The BRIC countries mostly improved their standing this year. Brazil jumped from 61st place to 38th; Russia went from 56th to 44rd place; and India climbed from the 54th position last year to the 48th slot this year. But China continued to slide, dropping from the 19th position in the ranking's first year to a rank of 28 this year, its score on less-tangible costs the 46th lowest among the 50 countries.
To rank the 50 best countries, Bloomberg analyzed 157 countries on six broad criteria. They were: the degree of economic integration; the cost of setting up a business; the cost of labor and materials; the cost of moving goods; less tangible costs like inflation and the amount of corruption; and the health of its consumer base. The full methodology appears on the final slide.