July 17, 2021
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Where Is The Best Place To Do Business? IMD’s Global Competitiveness Index

64 countries have been assessed for economic competitiveness. It shows what kind of conditions the government creates for businessmen. The ranking was compiled by the Institute for Management Development, or IMD. We tell you which countries have high levels of government support and the best conditions for doing business.

Alevtina Kalmuk
Alevtina Kalmuk

Author and editor of articles about investment citizenship and residency

Residence permit or second citizenship by investment: a global competitiveness ranking

Where Is The Best Place To Do Business? IMD's Global Competitiveness Index

IMD is a Swiss company that has established an independent institute. It trains future executives and businesspeople. The institute has been operating for 75 years and conducts research in the business sphere.

IMD experts call competitiveness the ability of a state’s economy to create and maintain the conditions for a successful business.

How IMD rank

The IMD has been analysing the competitiveness of countries since 1989. The institute’s experts take data from public sources of international organisations, such as the UN, and interview company executives.

Each country is assessed according to four key economic indicators. All indicators are checked against 330 criteria, which are periodically supplemented.

Key evaluation indicators:

  1. the state of the economy in the field of innovation;

  2. level of digital technology in the country;

  3. government effectiveness in social policy;

  4. social cohesion and equal opportunities.

The final score is the total sum of all scores. The indicators are weighted equally.

Top 10 countries in terms of competitiveness






















hk-flag Hong Kong


tw-flag Taiwan







Full country rankings on the institute’s website

Top 10 countries are the best at innovation. Investors are investing in digital companies. Governments create good conditions for successful businesses, for example, Switzerland has simple and clear legislation.

Thanks to sound fiscal policy, the countries have also successfully weathered the crisis in the face of the pandemic. For example, Switzerland is in first place for the first time in 33 years.

The health systems of the leading countries have fared better than those of other countries. The leaders have created an economic buffer which has enabled them to borrow less and support their populations.

How to obtain a residence permit or citizenship by investments in the countries from the ranking

6 countries in the IMD ranking offer foreigners the right to obtain a residence permit or citizenship by investment. Governments offer one or more investment options, such as a non-refundable contribution to a government fund, the purchase of real estate or bonds, or investments in businesses.

Ranking of countries with investment programmes

Switzerland grants residence permits to financially independent persons without the right to work in the country. However, they can invest in local companies. The investor enters into an agreement with the cantonal administration and pays a lump sum tax of ₣ 450,000.

The UK offers the Investor Visa to wealthy people. To obtain a UK residence permit, investors invest at least £2 million in local shares. The investor can also register his company and invest in its development.

Cyprus grants a residence permit by investments from €300,000. The investor chooses from three options: purchase of real estate, shares of local companies or units of investment funds.

Portugal offers a residence permit by investment of €350,000 or more. The investor can choose from eight options: purchase of real estate or securities, opening a deposit in a local bank, investment in business, scientific activities or cultural heritage of the country.

Greece grants a residence permit by purchasing real estate or shares in local companies, opening a deposit in a Greek bank. The minimum investment is €250,000.

Turkey offers citizenship for establishing a business with a capital starting from €500,000. Alternative options: purchase of real estate worth from €250,000, deposit in a local bank, purchase of securities, government bonds or shares of investment funds.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for European residence permit programmes by investment. If you want to invest in one of the rated countries and become a resident or citizen of a European country, seek advice from experts in investment programmes.