“The new World of Work swept in sooner than expected, accelerated by COVID-19, creating an urgent need for resilient mindsets and innovative rethinking of strategies. The most impactful recovery plans will not just successfully return organizations to business as usual. Effective plans will ensure teams are safe, provide consistent communication, and clarify business focus, and then challenge the status quo. This is a critical opportunity for organizations to push the boundaries on traditional ways of doing things.” – Bert Miller, President and CEO, MRINetwork
Europe, Middle East and Africa
The Best Countries Rankings, formed in partnership with BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R, and the Wharton School of Pennsylvania, surveyed more than 20,000 people from four regions to determine the most business friendly countries, as reported by U.S. News & World Report.
For the third year in a row, Luxembourg is seen as the No. 1 country in the Open for Business subranking, the No. 2 country for having a favorable tax environment, and finishes in the top quarter in terms of transparent government practices and corruption. The World Bank scores the country No. 1 overall for allowing trade across borders and ranks it highly for dealing with construction permits. Switzerland finished at No. 2, followed by Canada, Denmark, Singapore, The Netherlands, Sweden, Thailand, Finland, and Norway.
In deciding where to bring their business, companies must define their priorities by weighing multiple operating and human costs. National governments face a similar cost-benefit analysis in setting corporate tax rates and policy. The countries considered the most business friendly are those that are perceived to best balance stability and expense.
Fifteen Asia-Pacific economies have signed what could become the world’s largest free trade agreement, covering nearly a third of the global population and about 30 percent of its global gross domestic product.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will progressively lower tariffs and aims to counter protectionism, boost investment and allow freer movement of goods within the region, according to a report in The Economic Times.
RCEP includes China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and the 10 members of the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN): Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines. India was involved in early discussions but opted out last year over concerns related to cheap Chinese imports. Notably, RCEP marks the first time China, Japan, and South Korea have been brought together under a single trade agreement — a process that has been otherwise marred by historical and diplomatic disputes.
Colombia hopes the U.S. government under President-elect Joe Biden will maintain a $5 billion investment program to boost economic and social development, as well as improve security in regions affected by drug-related violence, President Ivan Duque said in a recent interview.
The investment plan announced in August under the government of current U.S. President Donald Trump looks to encourage legal economic opportunities in rural zones where armed groups push cultivation of coca — the chief ingredient in cocaine — by joining private investment, technical assistance, and improved infrastructure to forge links with markets.
“We’re going to maintain that strategic, bipartisan, and bicameral relationship, while always seeking to strengthen it for the benefit of both countries,” Duque said, adding Colombia has always had the support of Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress.
The United States is the foremost destination for Colombian exports, as well as the Andean country’s strongest ally in the fight against drug trafficking. Under anti drug-trafficking initiative Plan Colombia, the United States gave billions of dollars to the South American country in military and social assistance.