FORBES - Best countries to do business 2018

Le magazine économique et financier américain FORBES analyse depuis une dizaine d’années quels sont les pays les plus attractifs au monde pour un investissement en capital. Dans la nouvelle édition annuelle de l’étude « Best countries for business 2018 », publiée en décembre 2017, 153 pays sont analysés sur base d'une quinzaine de déterminants (équi-pondérés) dont les droits de propriété, l'innovation, la fiscalité, la technologie, la corruption, l’infrastructure, la taille du marché, le risque politique, la qualité de vie, la force de travail, les libertés, les charges administratives et finalement la protection des investisseurs. Les auteurs de l'étude puisent les informations dans une série de publications internationales comme celles du Forum économique mondial, de la Banque mondiale, etc.

Le classement mondial est mené par le Royaume-Uni, suivi par la Nouvelle-Zélande et les Pays-Bas. Le Luxembourg est classé 25ème au niveau mondial (13ème dans l’UE). L’Allemagne se classe 13ème (6ème), la Belgique 17ème (8ème) et la France 22ème (11ème).

Finalement, les auteurs dressent le constat suivant à l’égard du Luxembourg : « This small, stable, high-income economy has historically featured solid growth, low inflation, and low unemployment. Luxembourg, the only Grand Duchy in the world, is a landlocked country in northwestern Europe surrounded by Belgium, France, and Germany. Despite its small landmass and small population, Luxembourg is the second-wealthiest country in the world when measured on a gross domestic product (PPP) per capita basis. Luxembourg has one of the highest current account surpluses as a share of GDP in the euro zone, and it maintains a healthy budgetary position and the lowest public debt level in the region. Since 2002, the Luxembourg Government has proactively implemented policies and programs to support economic diversification and to attract foreign direct investment. The government focused on key innovative industries that showed promise for supporting economic growth: logistics, information and communications technology (ICT); health technologies, including biotechnology and biomedical research; clean energy technologies; and most recently, space technology and financial services technologies. The economy has evolved and flourished, posting a strong GDP growth rate – projected at 4.5% in 2017-2018, far outpacing the European average of 1.8%. Luxembourg remains a financial powerhouse – the financial sector accounts for more than 35% of GDP - due to the exponential growth of the investment fund sector through the launch and development of cross-border funds (UCITS) in the 1990s. Luxembourg is the world’s second-largest investment fund asset domicile, after the US, with $4 trillion of assets in custody in financial institutions. Luxembourg has lost some of its advantage as a favorable tax location because of OECD and EU pressure, as well as the “LuxLeaks” scandal, which revealed advantageous tax treatments offered to foreign corporations. In 2015, the government’s compliance with EU requirements to implement automatic exchange of tax information on savings accounts - thus ending banking secrecy - has constricted banking activity. Likewise, changes to the way EU members collect taxes from e-commerce has cut Luxembourg’s sales tax revenues, requiring the government to raise additional levies and to reduce some direct social benefits as part of the tax reform package of 2017 ».

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