Economic Freedom Index: Kazakhstan advances 22 points in 17 years 17 января 2014, 15:14
Kazakhstan's economy was steadily advancing it its freedom ranking. It has gained 22 points over the past 17 years, since Kazakhstan entered the Economic Freedom Index, Tengrinews reports citing the press-service of the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan's economic freedom score is at 63.7 now. It is ranked 67th in the World Index 2014. Kazakhstan is ahead of countries like Russia, Belarus, France, Italy, Portugal, India and China. "Kazakhstan got 63.7 points out of 100 possible in the 2014 Economic Freedom Index released by the Heritage Foundation in partnership with The Wall Street Journal on January 14, 2014," the Ministry's message says. Kazakhstan is in the Moderately Free group along with many European Union countries. And Kazakhstan is in the 11th place out of 42 countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Kazakhstan's economic freedom had the 68th place with 63.0 points in the 2013 ranking. In 2012 it had 63.6 points and was ranked 65th. "Over the 17 years that Kazakhstan has been graded in the Index, its economic freedom has advanced by 22 points, one of the 20 best improvements recorded by any country. This increase has been facilitated especially by improvements in regulatory efficiency and market openness. Scores for seven of the 10 economic freedoms, including monetary freedom, trade freedom, financial freedom, fiscal freedom, and business freedom, have increased by double digits. Once considered a “repressed” economy, Kazakhstan has risen to “moderately free” since 2008," the authors of the research wrote about Kazakhstan’s progress in the 2014 Index. “Looking ahead, Kazakhstan needs deeper structural reforms to overcome challenges associated with the need to reduce dependence on the energy sector and achieve more diversified growth. Property rights and freedom from corruption remain far below average world levels,” the researchers of the Economic Freedom Index concluded. The research showed that corruption and bribery were overspread in all levels of the Kazakhstan government, and several high-profile cases of the past years witnessed it. The Index of Economic Freedom is an annual index and ranking created by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal in 1995 to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world's nations. The Economic Freedom Index includes four sectors: the rule of law, limited government, regulatory efficiency and market openness. These sectors cover 10 freedoms – business freedom, trade freedom, monetary freedom, government size/spending, fiscal freedom, property rights, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, labor freedom – in 186 countries. The 10 factors are averaged equally into a total score. Each one of the 10 freedoms is graded using a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 represents the maximum freedom. A score of 100 signifies an economic environment or set of policies that is most conducive to economic freedom. The 2014 Index was edited by Terry Miller, the Director of the Center for International Trade and Economics (CITE) and the Mark A. Kolokotrones Fellow in Economic Freedom at the Heritage Foundation; Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D., a Distinguished Fellow at the Heritage Foundation and Anthony B. Kim, senior policy analyst for economic freedom in Heritage's Center for International Trade and Economics (CITE).