Forbes Ranks Canada #1 for Business, Credits McGuinty’s HST

Published on: 2011/10/05 - in News

Yesterday, Forbes magazine ranked Canada as the best country for business – moving up from fourth spot last year – in part due to the introduction of the harmonized sales tax last year in Ontario and British Columbia.

Canada overtook both New Zealand and Hong Kong, which placed second and third in the overall rankings, while the United States fell one spot to 10th place. Last year’s top pick, Denmark, dropped to fifth on the list in large part due to its poor stock market performance.

Even during the current global recession, Ontario has already attracted significant foreign business investment, and this prestigious recognition by Forbes can only help continue that trend.

Such investments in Ontario includes a $7 billion green-energy deal with Korean industrial giant Samsung. That deal includes opening four manufacturing factories in the province, including one recently announced in London, Ontario that will create at least 200 new jobs.

According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), wind developers across Canada are projected to nearly double the amount of wind power projects installed this year compared to 2010. And on its current course, Ontario is expected to lead the nation with an estimated 500 MW of wind power to be brought online in the province by the end of 2011. In all, this year’s expected total would make Canada’s installed capacity sufficient to power 1.5 million homes.

Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA, said in a release that “Canada, and in particular Ontario, is emerging as a very competitive destination for wind energy investment globally.”

However, the aforementioned $7 billion Samsung investment may be in jeopardy due to the provincial election being held October 6, where the Progressive Conservative (PC) Leader Tim Hudak has stated he will scrap the deal if elected premier.

When considering the categories used by Forbes to rank countries each year, that decision could affect Canada’s standing in 2012 as well.

This year Canada was the only country to rank in the top 20 for 10 of those 11 categories, which includes innovation, investor protection, technology, taxes, corruption, red tape, freedom, property rights, and stock market performance.

Forbes magazine also wrote that “While the U.S. is paralyzed by fears of a double-dip recession and Europe struggles with sovereign debt issues, Canada’s economy has held up better than most.”

Additional Reading – The Globe & Mail: “Ontario Liberal leader stays on message amid news of Forbes ranking


Photo (edited) by Joshua Sherurcij