UK exports: Venezuela is the riskiest place in the world to do business - while Norway is the most resilient

Protester in Venezuela holding a tattered flag
Venezuela, where protests last year led to unrest, was ranked bottom of the list (Source: Getty)

Expanding abroad is a big step for any business - and that's without added risks from geopolitical instability and dodgy dealers, not to mention natural hazards.

Now a new "resilience index" by property insurer FM Global has identified the riskiest places in the world to do business - taking into account factors ranging from corruption, infrastructure and the quality of the local supply chain to countries' dependence on oil.

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And while the UK came 20th for the third year running (although we have low levels of corruption and a reliable supply chain, the risk of terrorism knocks us down), Ireland came in at number four, thanks to its low exposure to natural hazards and "the fruits of its austerity and fiscal regimes".

Norway and Switzerland were ranked first and second, followed by the Netherlands. And although the decision to host the World Cup in Qatar is controversial, the country was the only Middle Eastern nation to be included in the top 10, thanks to its macroeconomic stability, efficient goods and labour markets and high degree of security.

At the bottom of the 130-strong list was Venezuela, which has a "challenging mix" of an unstable economy, high inflation and public debt, and "malfunctioning" markets, the report said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine and Kazakhstan were the biggest fallers, dropping 31 places thanks to, respectively, war and "poor commitment to natural hazard risk management". Thailand fell 20 places to 82nd, pushed down by the declining quality of its infrastructure and low-quality local suppliers.

Top 10 Bottom 10
1. Norway 121. Tajikistan
2. Switzerland 122. Egypt
3. Netherlands 123. Pakistan
4. Ireland 124. Jamaica
5. Luxembourg 125. Honduras
6. Germany 126. Dominican Republic
7. Qatar 127. Nicaragua
8. Canada 128. Mauritania
9. Finland 129. Kyrgyz Republic
10. US central region 130. Venezuela

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