In this gE Blog Series, we feature the Nordic countries, which consist of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Together the Nordic countries make up a cultural and geographical region in Northern Europe and are integrated economically, historically, and linguistically. In the most recent Doing Business Economy Rankings by the World Bank Group, all five of the Nordic countries were ranked in the top 14 out of 189 countries. The rankings measure the ease of conducting business and reflect how conducive each country’s regulatory environment is to a business operation. In all, ten factors are used to rank the countries. A few of the most notable factors are ease of starting a business, paying taxes, trading across borders, and enforcing contracts.

The ease of conducting international business in the Nordic countries is exceptional due to developed transportation infrastructure, uncomplicated documentation processes, and low costs associated with importing and exporting products. Denmark, Finland, and Sweden all boast top ten ratings in ease of trading across borders and Iceland saw great improvement in this ranking from a year ago.

The 2014 Doing Business Economy Rankings also indicate that the Nordic countries are business-friendly in terms of taxation. Denmark, Norway, and Finland are all ranked in the top 25 and each nation improved upon its 2013 ranking. Factors contributing to the region’s strong tax environment are a modest amount of business-related taxes, a relatively low corporate tax rate, and an efficient tax payment system.

The remaining posts in this series will focus on the following: export opportunities in the Nordic countries, Iceland’s remarkable economic recovery, and the economic implications that will result if Finland and Sweden choose to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Be sure to stay tuned to the globalEDGE blog this week to learn more about the Nordic countries and their influence on international business.

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