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Shocking! India ranks 119 in economic freedom

July 19, 2013 09:42 IST

Shocking! India ranks 119 in economic freedom

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India’s economic development has been marred by corruption, says The Heritage Foundation.

The country's economic freedom score is 55.2, making its economy the 119th freest in the 2013 Index. 

Its score is 0.6 point higher than last year, with improvements in the management of public finance and monetary freedom offsetting a continuing decline in freedom from corruption, says The Heritage Foundation, in partnership with The Wall Street Journal which has tracked economic freedom of countries around the world.

“In the absence of a well-functioning legal and regulatory framework, corruption throughout the economy is becoming a more serious drag on the emergence of a more dynamic private sector, states the study.

Launched in 1995, the Index evaluates countries in four broad areas of economic freedom: rule of law; regulatory efficiency; limited government; and open markets. 

Take a look at the nations that score high on economic freedom…


Image: A dancer in an traditional Indian dress poses in front of an elephant.
Photographs: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

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Hong Kong (Rank 1)

Hong Kong tops the list of the nations with the highest score for the 19th consecutive year. 

It remains one of the world’s most competitive financial and business centres, says The Heritage Foundation.

Hong Kong scores high on a highly motivated and skilled workforce and there is less tolerance for corruption.

Overall score: 89.3

Freedom from corruption: 84

Business freedom: 98.9

Trade freedom: 90.0

Investment freedom: 90.0

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Image: A gang of 100 different Doraemon figures are lined up in neat rows at HarbourCity in Hong Kong.
Photographs: Reuters

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Singapore (Rank 2)

Singapore’s openness to global trade and investment has seen the rise of a competitive financial sector, says The Heritage Foundation.

The country is hailed for competitive tax rates and a transparent regulatory environment which encourages commercial activity.

A stable political and legal environment has been the key to Singapore’s success. 

Overall score: 88.0

Freedom from corruption: 92.0

Business freedom: 97.1

Trade freedom: 90.0

Investment freedom: 75.0

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Image: Singapore during the Earth Hour.
Photographs: Reuters

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Australia (Rank 3)

Australia has a financially stable economy. It rebounded quickly from the global recession.

The financial system has remained stable. Public finances are soundly managed, and sovereign debt levels are under control, says the study.

A transparent and stable business climate makes Australia one of the world’s most reliable and attractive environments for entrepreneurs.

Overall score: 82.6

Freedom from corruption: 88.0

Business freedom: 95.5

Trade freedom: 86.2

Investment freedom: 80.0 

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Image: Sydney city skyline during Earth Hour.
Photographs: Tim Wimborne/Reuters

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New Zealand (Rank 4)

New Zealand has a modern and competitive economy with open-market policies that boost trade and investment. 

Its modern and competitive economy open-market policies facilitate trade and investment. 

The country has managed to keep its gross public debt under control.

Overall score: 81.4

Freedom from corruption: 95.0

Business freedom: 99.9

Trade freedom: 86.8

Investment freedom: 80.0

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Image: Auckland skyline.
Photographs: Reuters

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Switzerland (Rank 5)

Switzerland has a diversified and modern economy, with high levels of prosperity and strong protection of property rights.

A liberalised global trade, investment regime, monetary stability and an effective workforce have enabled Switzerland to become one of the world’s most competitive economies. 

Switzerland is ranked 1st out of 43 countries in the Europe region.

Overall score: 81.0

Freedom from corruption: 88.0

Business freedom: 75.8

Trade freedom: 90.0

Investment freedom: 80.0

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Image: Children play in the icy aftermath of a snowstorm on the banks of Lake Leman in Geneva, Switzerland.
Photographs: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

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Canada (Rank 6)

Canada has a resilient economy, with a commitment to open-market policies that facilitate global trade and investment flows. 

The freest economy in the North America region, has seen a steady reduction of the standard corporate tax rate has also contributed to global competitiveness.

Canada’s public finance management has been prudent compared to many advanced economies.

Overall score: 79.4

Freedom from corruption: 87.0

Business freedom: 91.7

Trade freedom: 88.2

Investment freedom: 75.0

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Image: People walk in the street during a snow storm of Quebec City.
Photographs: Mathieu Belanger/Reuters

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Chile (Rank 7)

Chile is conducive to long-term growth, and the financial sector remains competitive.

The country has an independent and efficient judicial system, prudent public finance management.

The investment climate is conducive to long-term growth and entrepreneurial activities.

Overall score: 79.0

Freedom from corruption: 72.0

Business freedom: 70.5

Trade freedom: 82.0

Investment freedom: 85.0

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Image: Ruben Torres, dressed in a Santa Claus outfit, and fishermen wave to people from a boat on Christmas Eve along the coast of Valparaiso city, about 121 km (75 miles) northwest of Santiago.
Photographs: Liseo Fernandez/Reuters

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Mauritius (Rank 8)

Mauritius has retained its position as one of the world’s 10 freest economies.

The island economy benefits from a sound and transparent legal framework.

Mauritius also sustains a dynamic entrepreneurial environment.

Overall score: 76.9

Freedom from corruption: 51.0

Business freedom: 78.2

Trade freedom: 87.9

Investment freedom: 90.0

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Image: A tour guide stands with a group of tourists at a viewpoint overlooking Port Louis.
Photographs: Ed Harris/Reuters

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Denmark (Rank 10)

Denmark scores high on regulatory efficiency, open-market policies sustain flexibility, competitiveness and large flows of trade and investment.

Transparent and efficient regulatory and legal environment encourages robust entrepreneurial activity and the  judicial system provides strong protection for property rights. 

Overall score: 76.1

Freedom from Corruption: 94.0

Business Freedom: 98.4

Trade Freedom: 86.8

Investment Freedom: 85.0

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Image: Fans of Denmark's fooftbal team.
Photographs: Demianchuk/Reuters

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United States (Rank 10)

The United States has recorded its lowest score on economic freedom since 2000. 

The study states that “dynamic entrepreneurial growth is stifled by ever-more-bloated government and a trend toward cronyism that erodes the rule of law.”

For the country to be among the top “free” economies, it will need policy reforms, reducing the size of government and overhauling the tax system.

Overall score: 76.0

Freedom from Corruption: 71.0

Business freedom: 90.5

Trade freedom: 86.4

Investment freedom: 70.0

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Image: Snoopy the Flying Ace balloon floats down Central Park West during the 85th Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City.
Photographs: Reuters

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Ireland (Rank 11)

Despite its recent crisis, the Irish economy, has some “significant institutional strengths compared to other troubled eurozone economies.”

Property rights are well established and the judiciary is stable. However, the financial sector was hit hard due to a property bubble collapse.

The Irish economy has fallen to 3rd place in the Europe region behind Switzerland and Denmark.

Overall score: 75.7

Freedom from corruption: 75.0

Business Freedom: 83.4

Trade Freedom: 86.8

Investment Freedom: 90.0

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Image: Passengers from the Titanic Memorial Cruise walk towards the old town hall while on a tour of Cobh.
Photographs: Chris Helgren/Reuters

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Bahrain (Rank 12)

Bahrain has recorded above-average levels of economic freedom in almost every measure. 

It is a financial hub with high levels of trade and investment and efficient regulatory environment.

Overall score: 75.5

Freedom from corruption: 51.0

Business freedom: 75.8

Trade freedom: 82.8

Investment freedom: 75.0

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Image: A person is seen standing at the junction of Bahrain Financial Harbour in Manama.
Photographs: Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

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Estonia (Rank 13)

Though the economy slipped during the recent recession, Estonia’s determination to defend economic freedom has contributed a strong revival over the past two years.

The country has a simplified tax system with flat rates and low indirect taxation, a competitive banking sector and openness to foreign investment

Overall score: 75.3

Business freedom: 78.2

Freedom from corruption: 64.0

Business freedom: 78.2

Trade freedom: 86.8

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Image: View of Estonia's capital Tallinn.
Photographs: Ints Kalnins/Reuters.

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United Kingdom (Rank 14)

The British economy continues to struggle to emerge from the economic slowdown, with the prospects for growth stifled by the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis.

The UK has long benefited from openness to global trade and investment.

Overall score: 74.8

Freedom from corruption: 78.0

Business freedom: 94.1

Trade freedom: 86.8

Investment Freedom: 90.0

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Image: A general view shows the Bank of England in the city of London.
Photographs: Olivia Harris/Reuters

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Luxembourg (Rank 15)

Despite the challenging economic scenario, “Luxembourg has demonstrated a commitment to restoring the soundness of public finance and the credibility of its policies,” states the Index of Economic Freedom.

With high degree of competitiveness, Luxembourg continues to be economically resilient economy.

Overall score: 74.2

Freedom from corruption: 85.0

Business freedom: 74.8

Trade Freedom: 86.8

Investment Freedom: 95.0

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Image: A general view of the DucalPalace in Luxembourg.
Photographs: Reuters

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Finland (Rank 16)

Finland is known for its openness to foreign trade and investment, which helps the country sustain a dynamic and resilient economy.

It has a sound regulatory environment and minimal barriers to trade.

Overall score: 74.0

Freedom from corruption: 94.0

Business freedom: 94.8

Trade freedom: 86.8

Investment freedom: 90.0

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Image: A woman walks past Helsinki cathedral.
Photographs: Yves Herman/Reuters

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The Netherlands (Rank 17)

The Dutch economy benefits from high degrees of business freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom.

It has a conducive regulatory environment, which supports entrepreneurship.

Overall score: 73.5

Freedom from corruption: 89.0

Business freedom: 83.0

Trade freedom: 86.8

Investment Freedom: 90.0

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Image: A tourist boat passes under a bridge next to the Westerkerk church in Amsterdam.
Photographs: Michael Kooren/Reuters
Tags: India

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Sweden (Rank 18)

The Swedish economy has found its place among the world’s 20 freest economies for the first time in the history of the Index. 

 Sweden’s economic policies over the past decade have centered on transforming the public sector through downsizing and improved efficiency. 

Monetary pressures are well maintained and inflationary pressures are under control.

Overall score: 72.9

Freedom from corruption: 93.0

Business freedom: 93.2

Trade freedom: 86.8

Investment freedom: 90.0

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Image: A visitor to the Kungstradgarden ice rink puts on her skates in downtown Stockholm.
Photographs: Bob Strong/Reuters

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Germany (Rank 19)

Germany is known for a commitment to regulatory efficiency and open-market polices.

The rule of law is well maintained and there is minimal tolerance for corruption.

The government has kept public spending under control through deficit-cutting measures.

Overall score: 72.8

Business freedom: 92.1

Freedom from corruption: 80.0

Trade freedom: 86.8

Investment Freedom: 85.0

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Image: Air Berlin aircrafts stand on the tarmac at Berlin Tegel airport.
Photographs: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

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Taiwan (Rank 20)

Taiwan continues to retain its position among the 20 freest economies in the 2013 Index.

Small and medium-size enterprises have steered the economic expansion in the country.

Despite the economic crisis, the country’s average annual growth rate has hit nearly 4 per cent over the past five years.

Overall score: 72.7

Freedom from corruption: 61.0

Business freedom: 94.3

Trade freedom: 85.0

Investment Freedom: 65.0

 

 


Image: A tourist walks besides kayaks and canoes on Fulong beach in New Taipei city, northeastern Taiwan.
Photographs: Reuters

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