Mauritius maintains the first position as a “mostly free” economy in Sub-Saharan Africa according to the 2017 Index of Economic Freedom
The 23rd edition of the 2017 Index of Economic Freedom was released by The Heritage Foundation.
The key findings of the 2017 Index were firstly, per capita incomes are much higher in countries that are more economically free. Secondly, greater economic freedom is also strongly correlated to overall well-being, taking into account such factors as health, education, environment, innovation, societal progress, and democratic governance. Lastly, no matter what their existing level of development may be, countries can get an immediate boost in their economic growth by implementing steps to increase economic freedom through policies that reduce taxes, rationalize the regulatory environment, open the economy to greater competition, and fight corruption.
Looking at the successive editions of the Index since 1995, there is a clear correlation between economic freedom and long-term development. It shows that countries that allow their citizens more economic freedom achieve higher incomes and better standards of living, they seem to live longer lives with better health and access to more effective education. They seem to be better stewards of the environment and push forward the frontiers of human achievement in science and technology through greater innovation.
It is important to define economic freedom. According to The Heritage Foundation, economic freedom is at its heart about individual autonomy, concerned chiefly with the freedom of choice enjoyed by individuals in acquiring and using economic goods and resources.
Measuring economic freedom entails having a comprehensive view and taking a variety of aspects into account. The Index of Economic Freedom looks at 12 aspects of economic freedom and is grouped into four broad categories.
- Rule of law (property rights, judicial effectiveness, and government integrity);
- Government size (tax burden, government spending, and fiscal health);
- Regulatory efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, and monetary freedom); and
- Market openness (trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom).
Looking at the results of the Index of Economic Freedom 2017, there are only a number of countries in the world that shows the status of “Free”. The top countries in the world showed an increase in their scores. Hong Kong was ranked as 1st in the world. Followed by Singapore 2nd, New Zeeland 3rd, Switzerland 4th and Australia in the 5th position. The top 5 countries in the world were all achieved the status of “Free”. Overall the 2017 Index shows among 180 countries, scores improved for 102 countries and declined for 75 countries compared to the 2016 Index.
Mauritius ranked 21st in the world maintaining its 1st position in the Sub-Saharan Africa Region. Mauritius and Botswana (34st globally and 2nd in the region) were the only two countries that could accomplish the “Mostly Free” status. Most countries in this region accomplished the status of “Mostly Unfree”.
According to the Index of Economic Freedom, the success of Mauritius can be attributed to 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. Privatization 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.
The 2017 Index of Economic Freedom shows the commitment of the Government of Mauritius to continue to provide economic growth, freedom and a leader in Sub-Saharan Africa.
You can read the full report HERE.