26 January 2010

Macedonia moves up 22 places in Economic Freedom Rankings

Macedonia is among the countries that has made greatest progress in economic freedom, moving up 22 places in the world rankings to finish 56, says the latest report of the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. Macedonia's overall score has increased 4.5 points from last year, reflecting a major improvement in labor freedom and smaller improvements in six other economic freedoms.
Macedonia is ranked 26th out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is above the world average. Reforms in labor market flexibility and regulation of investment enabled Macedonia's economy to achieve one of the highest score improvements in the 2010 Index.
Macedonia also enjoys high levels of trade freedom, fiscal freedom, and monetary freedom. Personal and corporate income tax rates are very competitive, and tax administration has been strengthened. Monetary stability is relatively well maintained. Macedonia is generally open to global trade, and the financial sector has weathered the global financial crisis relatively well.
Macedonia still lacks sufficient institutional support for property rights and the fight against corruption. The court system is prone to corruption, political interference, and inefficiency, and human trafficking and smuggling of drugs and weapons remain serious problems, the report says.
The world in general saw contraction of economic freedoms because of last year's financial crisis that forced governments to adopt huge economic stimulus packages and increase public spending. Hong Kong has maintained its position as the world's freest economy for 16 consecutive years, followed by Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland as Europe's leader.
In Europe, Switzerland is the second freest economy, followed by Denmark and the United Kingdom. Europe's top ten include Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Estonia, Finland, Iceland and Sweden. Belarus and Ukraine, categorised as repressive economies, ended at the bottom of the European rankings.
In the Balkans, Albania holds the 53rd position followed by Slovenia - 61; Turkey - 67, Montenegro - 68; Greece - 73; Bulgaria - 75; Croatia - 92 and Bosnia/Herzegovina - 110.
For over a decade, the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, Washington's preeminent think tank, have tracked the march of economic freedom around the world with the influential Index of Economic Freedom.

No comments:

Post a Comment