From the Most to the Least Startup-Friendly Countries  in Asia 

From the Most to the Least Startup-Friendly Countries  in Asia 

So you have a brilliant idea and want to develop it into a functioning business. When doing research for the project, you find that the country you’re currently living has strict rules when it comes to building a new startup. Or in another case, your business is doing well and you are looking to expand the network, but you don’t know where to move. Chances are, one of these startup-friendly countries around Asia will suit your needs.

The chosen startup below is based on two studies conducted by U.S. News and CEO World Magazine. We compared both results with an overall calculation: overall ranking from both / 2 and here is the most to the least startup-friendly countries in Asia.  

Note: Overall score is gained from the entrepreneurial and business score only. The study cited more factors such as human rights, culture, military, etc. Therefore, please refer to the study for detailed scores and measurements. 

See also: Top Cities for Female Entrepreneurs across the World

Israel – overall ranking 92

The country has played a large role in global affairs. The country has a strong economy, landmarks of significance to several religions and strained relationships with many of its Arab neighbours. 

Turkey – overall ranking 78.5

Turkey is an emerging market economy as defined by the International Monetary Fund. The country is also among the world’s developed countries and one of the world’s newly industrialised countries. 

Iraq – overall ranking 75.5

An improved security environment and an initial wave of foreign investment helped spur the economic activity in Iraq. Now, the country is dominated by the oil sector which has provided about 99.7 percent of foreign exchange earnings in modern times. 

Iran – overall ranking 75

Iran has a mixed and transition economy with a large public sector. The sector is dominated by oil and gas production, although over 40 industries are directly involved in the Tehran Stock Exchange. 

India – overall ranking 72.5

Historically, India was one of the largest economies in the world for most of the two millennia from 1st until the 19th century. Now, it is the world’s fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. 

Malaysia – overall ranking 72.5

Malaysia is the third-largest in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia and Thailand. Labour productivity in Malaysia is significantly higher than in neighbouring Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, or Vietnam due to a high density of knowledge-based industries. 

Lebanon – overall ranking 72.5 

Lebanon economy is considered as a developing, upper-middle-income economy. The nominal GDP was estimated at $54.1 billion in 2018. 

United Arab Emirates – overall ranking 71

UAE is the second largest in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia with a GDP of USD 414 billion in 2018. UAE also has been successfully diversifying its economy, particularly in Dubai. 

Saudi Arabia – overall ranking 70

Saudi Arabia is one of the top twenty economies in the world (G20). It is dependant on oil as the country has the second-largest proven petroleum reserves. 

Pakistan – overall ranking 70

Pakistan’s economy is the 24th largest in the world in terms of purchasing power parity, and 42nd largest in terms of nominal GDP. 

Myanmar – overall ranking 66

Myanmar (Burma) is an emerging economy with a nominal GDP os $69.322 billion in 2017. The country is populated by several ethnic groups with the Burmese dominating the population, politics, economy, and society. 

Philippines – overall ranking 65.5

Philippines has long been plagued by political instability, but its resilient economy continues to improve and push ahead of others in the region. 

See also: Why Only the “Chosen” People Can be Entrepreneur?

Indonesia – overall ranking 64.5

Made up of a chain of thousands of islands between Asia and Australia, Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic state and the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation with more than 300 languages. 

China – overall ranking 62.5 

The country is the world’s most populous and is considered the second-largest by landmass. China is also one of the world’s fastest-growing major economy, with growth rates averaging 6 percent over 30 years. 

South Korea – overall ranking 60.5

South Korea is the 4th largest in Asia and the 12th largest in the world. It is a highly developed mixed economy dominated by family-owned conglomerates. 

Qatar – overall ranking 60.5

Rich in oil and natural gas, Qatar is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Just over half of the country’s GDP is comprised of manufacturing, construction and financial services. 

Vietnam – overall ranking 52

Vietnam is a socialist-oriented market economy, which is the 45th-largest in the world. The country is also a member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the World Trade Organisation. 

Australia – overall ranking 51

The commonwealth of Australia occupies the Australian continent. Australia’s GDP was estimated at A$1.89 trillion as of 2019.  Australia is also a country with the largest median wealth per adult. 

Singapore – overall ranking 48

Singapore is a bustling metropolis in Southeast Asia and home to one of the world’s busiest ports. The vast majority of its 5.7 million citizens live on the eponymous capital islands. 

Japan – overall ranking 46.5

Japan is one of the most literate and technically advanced nations. The country is made up of four main islands. There are roughly 126 million people lead a distinctly urban lifestyle. 

Thailand – overall ranking 45

The economy of Thailand is heavily dependant on exports, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the country’s GDP. The industrial and service sectors are the main sectors in the Thai gross domestic product. 

New Zealand – overall ranking 43

New Zealand is the 53rd largest national economy in the world when measured by nominal gross domestic product. The country is also one of the most globalised economies and depends greatly on international trade. 

Hong Kong – overall ranking 19.5

Hong Kong is a highly developed free-market economy characterised by low-taxation, almost free trade and well-established international financial market. 

Survey Methodology 

The USN study methodology is through surveying over 21,000 people globally from four regions to assess perceptions of 80 countries on 75 different metrics. Attributes were then grouped into nine sub rankings that rolled into the Best Countries ranking, including adventure, citizenship, cultural influence, entrepreneurship, heritage, movers, open for business, power and quality of life. 

Meanwhile, CEO World Magazine’s methodology is rated based on five major metrics of a country’s competitiveness and capabilities. The major metrics are human capital investment, research and development, entrepreneurial infrastructure, technical workforce, and policy dynamics. 

Read also: Do The Right Things – A Guide When Your Startup Fails