2017 Index of Economic Freedom
The 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, 23rd edition was recently published. It shows that there was overall global progress in advancing economic freedom reflected in rising scores of dozens of countries. According to the IEF 2017, countries boasting higher scores of economic freedom generate higher per capita income and their populations also displayed higher level of general well-being compared to the lower-scoring countries.
According to Jim DeMint, President of the Heritage Foundation, the imperative to advance economic freedom and thereby revitalise vibrant entrepreneurial growth is stronger than ever. Ambassador Terry Miller and Anthony B. Kim defines Economic Freedom as individual autonomy concerned chiefly with the freedom of choice enjoyed by individuals in acquiring and using economic goods and resources.
Aspects of Economic Freedom
The 12 aspects of economic freedom measured in the Index are grouped into four categories:
- Rule of Law which includes property rights, judicial effectiveness and government integrity;
- Government size includes tax burden, government spending and fiscal health;
- Regulatory efficiency, this category includes business freedom, labor freedom and monetary freedom; and
- Market openness which includes trade freedom, investment freedom and financial freedom
The country profiles in the Index provides many real-world examples of both negative and positive impact of government economic policies. The countries are organised regionally in five groupings. These include the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan-Africa.
Mauritius retains the top spot in Africa. Mauritius is ranked 1st in Africa and 22nd in the World. According to the IEF 2017, “An efficient and transparent regulatory environment supports relatively broad-based economic development in Mauritius, and competitive tax rates and a fairly flexible labor code facilitate private-sector growth. The open trade and investment regime is underpinned by relatively well-protected property rights and a nondiscriminatory legal system.”
It further goes on to say that privatisation of state-owned monopolies has slowed, but the state does not play an overwhelming role in the economy, minimizing the drag on dynamic business activity. Corruption is relatively rare. Public financial management is generally sound, and a law requires that government debt must be reduced to below 50 percent of GDP by 2018.
For the full IEF 2017 report click here
Source: The Heritage Foundation