The New Center of European Economy: Iceland?

After a year-long study of the country’s resources and tax codes, a team of economic experts has determined that Iceland is poised to become the world’s top economic center.

Iceland has quietly become one of the most economically advanced societies on earth. This year alone, the country has been at or near the top of the UN’s Human Development Index, the World Competitiveness Yearbook, the Global Benchmark Report, and was ranked as the country with the least corruption according to Transparency International.

The small country in the middle of the North Atlantic has other advantages. Its location between European and American markets make it a logical choice for companies looking to establish a presence in both continents. The population, just below 300,000, is highly educated and technically savvy, and there is almost no crime.

But Icelandic officials think that they can do even better. In a conference attended by politicians, economic scholars, and industry officials, a three-year Action Plan was introduced by the team of economists. The plan calls for attracting new ventures to Iceland with massive tax and investment incentives for foreign businesses. These include simplifying the tax code, eliminating taxes on royalties earned by research companies, and a strengthening of the already advanced infrastructure.

The government of Iceland seems to agree with the findings of the group. The Prime Minister’s office has pledged to pass the legislative reforms needed to make the suggestions reality before next summer. The government also contributes to a well-established Invest web site, which is dedicated to informing investors about the advantages of investment in Iceland’s healthy economy.

Tax benefits and other advantages of the Icelandic fiscal system. This report was compiled by the Invest in Iceland Agency.