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Newsweek Ranks Best Countries in World by Field

Posted July. 20, 2004 22:16,   


“Argentina is for the depressed, the Netherlands is for idealists…”

Newsweek, a weekly news magazine, made its selection of best countries by subject in its latest edition (July 26).

--In terms of “Nation”

The best country for technocrats is China. Nine members of its standing committee, including President Hu Jintao, are science and technology majors.

The Netherlands is the best country for idealists. The aid provided by the government of the Netherlands to developing countries each year amounts to 208 dollars per capita. Meanwhile, the U.S. government provides 47 dollars in aid per capita.

Vietnam, where a young leadership core is making radical reforms, was selected as the best country for political reformists.

Pakistan is the best country for refugees and exiles. It has provided shelter, food, and education to over five million refugees since the former Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979.

--In terms of “People”

Turkey is a country for youth, as 21 percent of its population is under 24 years old. If the whole population stood in line, the one in the center of it would be a 25-year-old. Fittingly, there are 27 universities in Istanbul alone.

Those who feel depressed can find rest in Argentine. There are 15,000 therapists in Buenos Aires alone. Clinical consulting costs only nine dollars per hour.

Poland, with 20 percent of its parliament seats occupied by women in 2001 and its rapid expansion of women’s rights, is the best country for women.

Finland is a country for students. There exists the smallest gap in the world between the best student and the worst.

--In terms of “Business”

The U.S. is, as one would expect, the best place for those with dreams to become rich.

India, where business disclosures are arranged without stopping, and where the financial market has rapidly grown, is the best country for foreign investors.

Because it has become difficult to enter the U.S. since the 9-11 terror attacks, the U.K. has risen to be the best country for immigrants and foreigners. There are more foreign students than British students entering business schools in London.

The best country for the middle class is Denmark. The disposable income of the richest 20 percent is only 2.9 times higher than the disposable income of the bottom 20 percent.

--In terms of “Science”

With the biggest amount of R&D investment per capita and the recent biology boom, Sweden is a good place for biology researchers, while Japan, which produces 50 percent of the solar energy in the whole world, is a good place for solar energy researchers.

Russia is a good place for traders of rights to emit carbon dioxide. According to the Kyoto Protocol, a country that produces more carbon dioxide should purchase emission rights from a country that produces less. Russia’s current carbon dioxide emissions have fallen by 30 percent since the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

Estonia in Eastern Europe is a country for software developers. Despite the government’s effort to foster information technology, there are not enough IT professionals and the annual salary of software developers is on average 3.4 times higher than that of other professionals.

--In terms of “Art”

The German government supported more than 300 classic music festivals this year despite its economic slump. France is a country for musicians. And the Republic of South Africa, where fashion shows are held even in its poor district, Soweto, is a country for fashion designers. Canada is a country for writers. The reason Canada has produced lots of million-selling writers is not only because of the quality of the books, but also because of plenty of government support for writers, the publishing industry, and book fairs.

Seung-Jin Kim sarafina@donga.com