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Sweden easiest country to place international talent

The research investigated the level of difficulty HR departments across the globe will experience in ensuring a new international recruit is legally eligible for work.

It revealed Sweden has the least red tape and the most supportive legal system, with the country achieving a top score of 8.5 out of a possible 10.

Other Nordic countries, along with Germany and Belgium, followed close behind; Germany and Denmark in joint second with scores of 8.2, Norway third with 8.1, Belgium fourth with 7.9 and Finland fifth with 7.4.

Of all the countries investigated, Russia ranked the lowest. Here HR departments are required to provide as many as 26 different documents before a new recruit can officially start work. These range from an employment contract to detailed company and tax documentation.

Italy received the lowest score within the EU, in part due to international hires being required to provide an ‘anti-mafia’ declaration.

Wiktor Podgorski, contracts and HR manager at Procorre, said that Nordic countries’ minimal red tape around employment is “reassuring for businesses in highly specialised areas that are likely to be dependent on recruiting international talent".

He added: “However, Belgium and Germany offer many of the same administrative advantages, along with lower tax burdens. As home to the European Commission Brussels makes an attractive location for international workers, and the country is also one of Europe’s most significant centres for the logistics industry.”

The UAE scored top for prevalence of foreign ownership thanks to its active targeting of foreign direct investment. This is seen as a good indicator that overseas companies find it easy to negotiate a country’s legal systems, and to compete on equal terms with domestic businesses.

“While the UAE poses a few more initial challenges, especially in terms of a relatively complex immigration system, it has been successful in providing a commercial law regime that is welcoming to overseas companies,” Podgorski said.

“This means that it is very much in the running as a location for new businesses or as a regional headquarters – traditionally in oil and construction, but increasingly in professional and financial services and other ‘knowledge’ industries such as technology, media and biotechnology.”

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