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Kazakhstan ranks above world average in Economic Freedom

05 february 2015, 13:37

Kazakhstan has ranked 69th out of 186 countries in the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, Tengrinews reports.

Kazakhstan ranks higher than France (73), Italy (80), Croatia (81), Slovenia (88), Serbia (90), India (128), Greece (130), China (139), Russia (143), and Ukraine (162).

The Index is published annually by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation and measures the degree of economic freedom in various countries.

It includes 10 quantitative and qualitative factors, all grouped into four general categories: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom).

Each one of the 10 freedoms is evaluated on a scale from 0 to 100, from lowest to maximum freedom. These are then averaged into a total score, all given equal weight.

With its score of 63.3, Kazakhstan occupies the position between Panama (68) and Turkey (70) in the Moderately Free group.

This year's position is a 2 point decline for Kazakhstan from last year's 67th place.

As the experts of the Economic Freedom Index explain, lowering of Kazakhstan’s ranking is due to “declines in property rights and business freedom outweighing a modest combined improvement in half of the 10 economic freedoms, including trade freedom, labor freedom, and freedom from corruption.”

Kazakhstan ranks 11 among the 42 countries of the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, its overall score is above the world and regional averages, the report says.

Impediments for Kazakhstan’s improvement of economic freedom are also mentioned. “The judiciary lacks statutory independence and is subservient to the executive branch. Corruption is prevalent and reaches into all branches of government,” according to the Index.

The five countries with the highest level of economic freedom in order of their rankings are Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland. The first place in the Index is occupied by Hong Kong for the second year in a row.

By Dinara Urazova

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