India ranked 97th best country to business
In a blow to Narendra Modi's pitch to make India a global business hub, Forbes' annual list of best countries in the world to do business has ranked India at a low 97 out of 144 countries indexed. India trails behind Mexico (53), Kazakhstan (57), Zambia (73), Ghana (79) and Sri Lanka (91). In consolation, however Forbes said India's investor perception was improving.
B.C. Forbes and his partner Walter Drey, the general manager of the Magazine of Wall Street, founded Forbes magazine in 1917. The magazine has grown to become one of the most trusted brands for financial and entrepreneurial analysis. Forbes publishes annual rankings and indices about people, countries, sports and education. Their annual list on Richest People in the World is the most popular.
This list has been published by Forbes since 2005. Forbes uses open source data to rate countries on 11 factors: property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom, red tape, investor protection and stock market performance. Sources including the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, Transparency International, Bloomberg and the CIA World Fact-book are used to analyze and weigh each of these factors equally.
Denmark was ranked #1 for the second year in succession. USA dropped four spots to #22 and China marked an improvement, jumping to #94 after being ranked #97 in 2013 and 2014.
India's rank on the Forbes Best Countries to do Business list in 2013 was #98. Forbes cited many challenges that India has yet to fully address, including poverty, corruption, violence and discrimination against women. In 2014, India marked a marginal improvement at #93. Forbes stated that while systemic challenges still remain, India's young population gives the country a more positive outcome.
India performed fairly well in other categories in 2015. India was ranked #8 in investor protection, #41 in innovation and #57 in personal freedom. India scored relatively worse in other categories, ranking #125 on trade freedom and #139 on monetary freedom. It also ranked #120 in technology, #77 on corruption and #123 on red tape.
Forbes said India was yet to overcome various challenges such as decades-long civil litigation dockets, inadequate transport and agricultural infrastructure and limited non-agricultural employment opportunities. According to Forbes data, growth in 2014 fell to a decade low, as India's economic leaders "struggled to improve the country's wide fiscal and current account deficits". However, they added that global investor perception of India is improving gradually.