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Taiwan jumps to 16th-best country for business: Forbes

NEW YORK -- Taiwan has made a massive leap to become the 16th-best country for business, according to the results of a survey conducted by U.S.-based Forbes Magazine.

Taiwan, which ranked 26th in a similar poll last year, only trails third-ranking Hong Kong and fourth-ranking Singapore among the Asian economies on the Forbes' 2012 “Best Countries for Business” list.

The magazine said in a profile on Taiwan that the country has “a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually decreasing government guidance of investment and foreign trade.”

In keeping with this trend, Forbes said, some of Taiwan's large state-owned banks and industrial firms have been privatized.

Exports, led by electronics, machinery and petrochemicals, have provided the primary impetus for the country's economic development, the magazine said.

Nevertheless, Forbes pointed out that the heavy dependence on exports has exposed Taiwan's economy to fluctuations in world demand.

New Zealand replaced Canada to lead the 2012 list. Denmark came in second, advancing from its fifth ranking of a year ago, Hong Kong maintained its 2011 ranking at third and Singapore ranked fourth.

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