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business handshake in front of Union Jack

Despite on-going uncertainty around Brexit, the UK has topped Forbes’ 12th annual survey of the Best Countries for Business. It is the first time the UK has taken the top spot in the survey, rising from fifth last year.

The US was ranked 12th, Germany 13th and France 22nd in the table of Best Countries for Business.

Forbes determined the Best Countries for Business by rating 153 nations on 15 different factors including property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape and investor protection. Each category was equally weighted.

The UK ranked among the top 25 countries in each of the 15 metrics tracked, except for political risk where it ranked twenty-eighth. The UK scored particularly well on technological readiness (fourth) and the size and education of its workforce (third).

The report stated: "After the United Kingdom narrowly voted last year to leave the European Union, predictions swirled that the British economy would collapse. Yes, the pound plummeted 9% versus the dollar the day after the surprise result and remains down, but the economy as a whole has held up relatively well. Gross domestic product grew 1.8% in 2016, a tick behind only Germany’s 1.9% growth among the Group of Seven industrialized nations. Economic growth has continued in 2017, home prices are up and unemployment has sunk to a 42-year low at 4.3%.

"Much uncertainty remains with the official exit from the EU scheduled for March 2019. Some UK companies are holding off on investments to see how Brexit affects trade relations and growth is forecasted to slow in 2018 but Britain’s business climate remains attractive." 

See the full list of countries ranked 1 to 153