In the Olympic Games of the business world, Canada has won a silver medal.
It’s a sizeable jump up from our sixth-place finish in 2013, thanks largely to the health of the consumer base, as measured by the size of the middle class, household consumption, tariffs on imports and GDP per capita.
The low cost of starting a business helped Hong Kong secure the top spot on the list for the third year in a row.
The U.S., meanwhile, fell from second to third place, as the cost of setting up a business shot up considerably relative to other countries.
This is the third year Bloomberg has presented the rankings. The findings are based on the overall business, commerce and trade climate in 157 countries.
Specifically, nations were judged on:
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
- the receptivity of consumers
After four years of gruelling austerity following a bail-out by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, Ireland's business engine is once-again looking strong. The country moved up two rungs to 20th place this year over 2012.
Portugal, meanwhile, another country that has struggled mightily in recent years, landed the 17th spot, up from 30th in 2012.
Brazil and Russia also ranked among the most-improved, jumping to 38th (from 61th) and 44th place (from 56th), respectively. India climbed from the 54th position last year to the 48th slot this year.
China's low scores in the 'less-tangible' cost category continue to drag the country down on the list. It fell from the 19th position in the ranking's first year to a rank of 28 this year.
Check out the top 10 below:
7. United Kingdom
3. United States
1. Hong Kong