New Zealand ranked top country in world for financial freedom, safest in Asia/Pacific

New Zealand has been ranked as the best country in the world for financial freedom, based on measures including stability, tax, fighting corruption and the transparency of our financial systems.

And we are also No 1 when it comes to safety and security in east Asia and the Pacific, according to a report out this year which studied 187 countries and how attractive they are to extremely wealthy people.

GS Global Partners’ world citizenship report ranked New Zealand ahead of Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Germany for its financial freedom, non-corruption and transparency.

The report studied people who sought second citizenship, often to enhance their own lives or wealth.

“The financial freedom motivator measures the ability of a jurisdiction to provide a favourable and stable regulatory climate for the establishment and functioning of businesses, as well as the holding of personal and business assets,” the report said.

Tax efficiency for people and businesses were a key motivator for wealthy people who sought out places that offered them the best opportunities, the report said.

They wanted countries “without excessive government oversight and corruption”, it said in what could have been a nod to the story of billionaires like New Zealand citizen Peter Thiel.

New Zealand beats Japan, Australia, Singapore and Taiwan when it comes to safety and security in this part of the world too.

Across a number of other measures, New Zealand was ranked as the best English-speaking country globally, heading off the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Although our borders are shut, that might just be why so many thousands are scrambling to get here.

New Zealand is the fifth best country in the world to live in based on economic, financial, lifestyle, mobility and safety measures, only headed off by European powerhouses Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Overall, we ranked sixth, ahead of the Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Canada, Austria, Ireland, Belgium, France and the United States.

Five key factors or measures put us in that sixth place:

• Safety and security: the ability to enjoy greater social safety and security for oneself and family and as a safety-net against being trapped in a dangerous territory;

• Economic opportunity: our ability to access major business hubs and increased access to better employment prospects and wider business opportunities;

• Quality of life: accessing territories with higher social and institutional stability and higher standards of education and healthcare;

• Global mobility: our freedom to travel for leisure and lifestyle and our ability to buy insurance to compensate and help with medical or safety emergencies;

• Financial freedom: geographical diversification, protecting assets from government overreach or corruption and facilitating wealth structure in a tax-efficient manner.

New Zealand ranks second in the world behind Iceland for safety and security, 15th for economic opportunity, 17th for quality of life and seventh for global mobility.

Last July, the Herald reported how New Zealand was named among five countries likely to survive a global society collapse.

Researchers say it comes as no surprise, with billionaires reported to be buying land for bunkers in New Zealand in preparation for an apocalypse.

This country was found to have the greatest potential to survive a collapse somewhat unscathed because of its geothermal and hydroelectric energy, abundant agricultural land and low population density.

Other places ranked highly to survive are Iceland, the UK, Tasmania and Ireland.

The CS Global Partners’ report studied people with multiple citizenships who look for the best opportunities in the world “otherwise unattainable in one’s birth country or country of origin”.

“As many parts of the globe progressively recover from Covid-19, individuals are relinquishing hope in the ability of governments to manage crises of various nature, including pandemics, climate change and wealth inequality. Consequently, mass affluent markets are assessing in which countries it is most profitable to become global citizens, in order to attain their needs,” the report said.

CS Global Partners specialises in residence and citizenship by investment. It said the report gave a data-based overview of almost every country on the globe based on five key motivators.

New Zealand has also been named as one of the world’s most welcoming countries and the greatest country on earth for the seventh year in the Telegraph travel awards.

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