Brazil, Bolivia and Peru among most complex economies globally

01 July 2019 2 min. read

The economies of Brazil, Bolivia and Peru are according to a new study among the most complex places in the world to conduct business.

The ‘Global Business Complexity Index’, a study by TMF Group, assessed how easy or complex it is for entrepreneurs and businesses to do business in a country. 76 jurisdictions from across the world were taken under scrutiny, with the researchers looking at factors such as taxation laws, regulations and penalties, accounting and fiscal requirements, and human resources aspects such as hiring, firing and paying employees.

Greece and Indonesia have been identified as the most complex for business. The Southern European country tops the list due to frequently changing legislation, differing regional tax rates and inconsistent treatment of firms by the authorities. Indonesia is Asia’s most complex country for doing business, followed by China in 9th and the Philippines in 20th.

Latin American powerhouse Brazil ranks third, with five others countries in the region holding a spot in the top 20: Bolivia (5th), Peru (10th), El Salvador (11th), Colombia (13th) and Argentina (18th). Conversely, Curacao, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic, which thrive on the back of politically-stable and pro-business policies, rank among the list for the easiest places to do business.

Brazil, Bolivia and Peru among most complex economies globally

An overview of the positions held by Latin American countries assessed: 23 Nicaragua, 31 Costa Rica, 35 Honduras, 37 Jamaica, 38 Uruguay, 39 Mexico, 40 Chile, 41 Ecuador, 50 Venezuela, 51 Panama and 52 Guatemala.

Across the board, Europe shows the most mix bag of performance. The continent is home to the easiest places to do business, with the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland and Jersey among them, yet at the same time also to some of the most complex countries for business, with Greece, Slovakia, Germany and Turkey featuring in the top ten.

The world’s largest economy, the United States, ranks as the eleventh least complex jurisdiction worldwide (of the 76 jurisdictions studied), while powerhouse China, despite managing to improve its business climate over the years, ranks as the ninth most complex country.

According to the researchers, the index provides businesses looking to expand into countries with a benchmark for the administrative challenges they may face. “Any business looking to expand into new territories faces a formidable array of potential hurdles,” said Mark Weil, CEO of TMF Group, however, “complexity is no reason to avoid investing. It is a dimension which must be managed. With the right local knowledge and preparation, good companies can thrive anywhere.”