The Fraser Institute publishes every year the Economic Freedom of the World Index, a report in conjunction with the Economic Freedom Network. Also, a group of independent researchers, and even some educational institutes from 90 countries are involved in creating this report. At the beginning of every year, this report is published by The Wall Street Journal, and the Heritage Foundation.
The countries are marked as free, mostly free, moderately free, mostly unfree, and repressed. This year, the country with the higher lever of economic freedom is Hong Kong, with a score of 90.1.
10. Denmark – 76.1
Year by year, the Danish economy is improving and it performs pretty well. It is very efficient, while the open market policies are very flexible, sustaining the competitiveness, the new investments, and also the large trade flows. Denmark has a transparent and efficient environment, which really encourages the entrepreneurial activity. On the other hand, the banking regulations are still sensible.
9. Ireland – 76.2
For the first time in the last years, Ireland is in the top 10 countries for their economic freedom. Despite the economic crises in Europe, Ireland has a high economic freedom, unique in this area. It is sustained by many institutional strengths, including the strong property rights, the smart business regulation, and the lower tax rates. Also, Ireland has no tolerance for corruption.
8. Mauritius – 76.5
Mauritius is still one of the global leaders, if we consider the freedom of its economy. Their economic freedom pillars are maintained quite well, so the small island can get significant economic benefits from its strong framework. The law and the rules are respected by its citizens, while the reforms keep the public debt and the budget efficient. Despite the expansionary fiscal policy, which was introduced in 2008, everything is under control.
7. Chile – 78.7
Chile’s economy is governed by two simple words: flexibility and openness. Even if their economy is quite small, it has a great capacity to adjust itself to any external factors and shocks. Chile is very active in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including the negotiations. They are committed to it and fight for trade liberalization. Their economy is dynamic, they look for long-term growth, and support the entrepreneurial spirit.
6. Canada – 80.2
Canada is the freest economy in the entire North America. The United States are not even in the top ten anymore. Their economic freedom is strong and it has the support and the protection of the anti-corruption laws and measures. Usually, the big, advanced economies are fighting with the constraints of the government and with fiscal rules, but the public finance management in Canada is prudent, and efficient.
5. New Zealand – 81.2
New Zealand has a very competitive economy, but still modern and committed to the open market policies. Everything in New Zeeland facilitates the new investments and the trade. All the regulations are transparent and they are applied every time it is necessary, while the private sector and the new entrepreneurial activities are strongly encouraged. The heavy governments in the countries with big economies led to growing debt burdens, but not in New Zeeland, where the government had under control the entire gross public debt.
4. Switzerland – 81.6
Switzerland has a modern and diverse economy, with strong property rights, high level of prosperity, and no tolerance for corruption. They have a very efficient public sector. The government of Switzerland forced in 2003 the “debt brake”, which proved to work pretty well. Their business climate is well established and transparent, helping the entrepreneurial environment to be active, vibrant. The labor market is very efficient as well, while all the commercial operation are aided by the Swiss monetary stable system. Last, but not least, the foreign investors are always welcome.
3. Australia – 82.0
Australia had a really good score this year, above all the world and regional averages. They are totally committed to the economic freedom, which has as a result new policy frameworks, encouraging the resilience of the economy. Australia always had a stable financial system, and very prudent regulations. However, they were flexible enough to allow banks to support the global financial problems caused by the disruption of turmoil. All the public money is well managed, and everything looks to be under control. That is why, Australia is one of the most attractive environments for new entrepreneurs, who feel really safe in this country.
2. Singapore – 89.4
Probably you didn’t expect it, but Singapore is one of the most prudent countries in the world, from the point of view of their macroeconomic climate. They have a very stable polecat environment, with clear laws and rules that helped them to be successful in maintaining their high level of economic freedom. Their property rights are still well-secured, promoting the productivity growth and the entrepreneurial activity. Singapore has low tolerance for corruption, an efficient law system, and a strongly sustaining judicial framework.
1. Hong Kong – 90.1
For years in a row, Hong Kong is the country with the highest score of economic freedom. They have a really dynamic economy, supported by the highly skilled and motivated workforce. They do not have any tolerance for corruption, while the economic interactions with their neighbors, especially China, became very intense and sophisticated. Also, the trade with the mainland is way more intense, demonstrating that Hong Kong has a mature economy, with competitive business and financial centers. The freedom of their economy is unique in the world, with a strong commitment to any implementation of the policies for citizens.