Canada tops for operating environment among 60 economies

But we still need to work on technology adoption, study suggests.

MONTREAL — According to the Global Dynamism Index (GDI), a global study by the Economist Intelligence Unit for Grant Thornton, Canada ranks 9th among the 60 largest economies in the world based on 22 indicators across five growth areas: business operating environment, technology, labour market, market growth and financing environment.

Canada ranks first for its business operating environment, which considers key indicators such as foreign trade and exchange regimes and controls and policy towards private enterprise and competition.

However, Canada needs to work on promoting itself as a choice business destination that supports the growth of foreign companies. Canadian businesses also need to improve in technology, where Canada ranks 20th.

Globally, Singapore, Israel, Australia have beaten global competition to top this Grant Thornton GDI. The analysis found these countries provide dynamic businesses with the right mix of regulatory stability, a strong labour market, technological infrastructure, growth opportunities and access to finance.

The GDI can be used as a tool to help identify countries of interest by drawing on indicators weighted according to the importance attached to them by real business leaders, adding that vital human perspective.

Further analysis suggests business leaders may not be fully aware of the drivers and challenges of operating in different markets. Comparing the reality of the GDI with the perceptions of business leaders from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) indicates some interesting knowledge gaps.

“A lack of familiarity with a particular territory or region can skew perception and lead to unexpected challenges when expanding into a new market. For dynamic businesses, the trick is balancing instinct with reason, perception with reality,” said Paul Raliegh, global leader – growth and advisory services at Grant Thornton International, a global management consulting firm with more than 40,000 employees in 138 countries, and the sponsor of PLANT’s annual Manufacturing Outlook survey.

“This study reveals how looking behind the headlines can uncover unexploited opportunities for dynamic businesses in new markets. In order to maximise growth potential, business leaders need to refresh their perceptions of foreign markets in line with the market insights at their disposal.”

The Grant Thornton Global Dynamism Index (GDI) is an annual research project designed by the Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by Grant Thornton, which ranks the development of the business growth environments of 60 of the world’s largest economies over the past 12 months. The index draws together 22 indicators, including GDP growth, R&D spend, regulatory risk, access to finance and labour productivity, across five areas of dynamism to produce the rankings.

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