Myanmar climbs in Economic Freedom index

Myanmar ranked 162 out of 178 countries on the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom compiled by The Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal and published on January 15.

Hong Kong was ranked number 1 as the state with the most economic freedom for the 20th consecutive year. North Korea came in last in the index at 178.

“Over the 20-year history of the Index, Burma’s progress toward greater economic freedom has been patchy and modest,” the index stated. “The overall score improvement has been merely 1.4 points, with gains in trade and monetary freedoms offset by deteriorations in four of the 10 economic freedoms including property rights and financial freedom, the scores for which have declined by 20 points each.”

Myanmar’s place ranking is due to its score of 46.5 on the index, up from 39.2 in 2013. “Free economies” have a score of 84.1 or higher and the South and East Asian regional average is 58.5. Myanmar is considered a “repressed” economy.

According to the Index, “Burma is richly endowed with natural resources, but government intervention in the economy has made it one of the world’s poorest countries.”

Freedom from corruption, property freedom, financial freedom, and investment freedom were the lowest ranked indicators used to judge the country’s score.

Labour freedom, monetary freedom and fiscal freedom improved during the year 2013, according to the rankings.

Source: Myanmar Times

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