The best countries for contractors to work in peace

The best countries for contractors to work in peace

Dec 14, 2023

Workwell-International News

‘Over the last 15 years the world has become less peaceful.’

That is the stark message from the introduction to the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2023, which found that the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.42%. Although that number may appear insignificant, the ramifications for citizens, tourists and global contractors are far greater. In this article, we delve into the results in greater detail and unveil the most peaceful countries in the world. For contractors looking to take advantage of the many work opportunities on offer globally, tax compliance must always be a top priority to avoid financial penalties or greater punishment.

Now in its 17th edition, the GPI, which is produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace, highlighted that in almost half of the 163 countries surveyed – 79 to be precise – peacefulness had actually fallen. It won’t come as a shock that Russia and the Eurasia region were the most negatively impacted while the biggest improvements occurred in North America (mainly driven by Canada) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – at the time of writing, recent tragic events have completely rocked an already fragile region. Time to discover those peaceful oases of calm!

We have to take our hat off to Iceland as once again the island situated between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans grabs the top spot, which it has held on to since 2008, the year of the inaugural GPI. While the small Nordic country ranked first for militarisation and ongoing conflict and third for safety and security, it did however see its overall score fall by 4% given an increase in its homicide rate and terrorism impact indicators. Interestingly, it was the first year that Iceland had experienced terrorist activity (targeting local politicians), resulting in four individuals being charged.

Known for its human rights record, political stability, income equality, happiness and ‘hygge’, you won’t be surprised to learn that Denmark occupies second place. A firm favourite for global contractors, the Scandinavian country with a population of less than six million has impressively never been outside the top five. Another popular destination is Ireland which ranked third (down one place on 2022). The Emerald Isle has long been popular with global contractors given the many jobs created by big multinationals, its EU member status making it a magnet for corporate HQs.

Up two places in fourth and we come to the top Asia-Pacific performer. Take a bow New Zealand, which registered improvements in its violent demonstrations, incarceration rate and terrorism impact indicators. The country, which is divided into two islands, has long been a destination of choice, particularly for UK contractors and other Commonwealth country citizens. Completing the top five – note the continuing ‘small is beautiful’ pattern – is Austria, which also offers a high standard of living and quality of life, plenty of job opportunities and a low crime rate!

Best countries for contractors looking for top job prospects 

Elsewhere in the top 10, we find two other Asia-Pacific countries. Singapore shoots up four places (6) coming joint top in the ongoing conflict domain ranking with Japan (9) in second spot for safety and security. The other three countries making the top 10 include Portugal (7), which has always scored highly for work-life balance and affordability, and Slovenia (8), which dropped four places. Although it has a high cost of living, Switzerland (10) remains an attractive country for skilled contractors given high wages and world-leading sectors such as banking and pharma.

While Canada (11) managed an almost 3% improvement in peacefulness, its neighbour the  US (131) however is characterised as a ‘low peace’ country. Other honourable mentions must go to Finland (13), which leads the safety and security domain and a country that has dominated happiness tables for several years. Malaysia (19), fourth in the Asia-Pacific list, came second for militarisation and fifth in the ongoing conflict domain. Qatar (21) topped the charts for MENA with Costa Rica (39) and Uruguay (50) following suit for Central America & The Caribbean and South America respectively.

While many parts of the world are unfortunately not living in peace, there are also plenty of countries that offer relative safety and stability. And in a global talent market that is characterised by skill shortages, qualified contractors can not only enjoy the financial trappings on offer but also get to experience some incredible career and life-defining highlights. For those considering any such move, it is highly advisable to do your research and above all else ensure that you meet all tax compliance obligations. If you need any advice, our 6CATS International specialists can help.

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