YEREVAN, January 14. /ARKA/. Armenia is the 41st among 187 countries in the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, says the Heritage Foundation’s report.
Last year Armenia placed the 38th among 177 countries in the index. According to the report, Armenian economy score dropped by 0.5 points to 68.9 compared to the last year. The Heritage Foundation experts say the decline is recorded due to worsened indicators of investment freedom, entrepreneurship freedom and financial freedom.
The countries are considered not free at all if they get less than 50 points, mostly not free if they have from 60 to 70 points, relatively free – with 60-70 points, mainly free with 70-80 points and free if they get above 80 points.
In terms of economic freedom Armenia placed 18th among 43 countries of the European region.
According to Heritage Foundation report, Armenia got 83.1 points for entrepreneurship freedom, 85.5 points for trade freedom, 86.5 points for fiscal freedom, 81.3 points for state spending, 77 points for monetary freedom, 70 points for investment freedom, 70 points for financial freedom, 30 points for ownership rights, 26.7 points for freedom from corruption and 78.5 points for labor freedom.
Over the 20 years of the index Armenia improved its ranking by 26.7 positions.
Yet, the experts say, substantial problems still exist, particularly, deeper institutional and system reforms are required to help strengthen the basis for economic freedom. Protection of property rights and freedom from corruption are below the international standards and legal framework is still weak in Armenia, experts say.
Hong Kong (90.1 points), Singapore (89.4 points) and Australia (82 points) topped the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom followed by Switzerland (81.6 points) and New Zealand (81.2 points). Georgia was the 22nd (leading in the South Caucasus region), Azerbaijan the 81st and Russia placed 140th.
The Index of Economic Freedom takes a broad and comprehensive view of country performance, measuring 10 separate areas of economic freedom. Some of the aspects of economic freedom that are evaluated are concerned with a country’s interactions with the rest of the world—for example, the extent of an economy’s openness to global investment or trade. Most, however, focus on policies within a country, assessing the liberty of individuals to use their labor or finances without undue restraint and government interference. –0--