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28 most secretive economies in the world

December 30, 2013 10:47 IST

28 most secretive economies in the world

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An estimated $21 to $32 trillion of private financial wealth is located, untaxed or lightly taxed, in secrecy jurisdictions around the world, according to the Justice Network.

Illicit cross-border financial flows add up to an estimated $1-1.6 trillion each year. Since the 1970s African countries alone are estimated to have lost over $1 trillion in capital flight, dwarfing their current external debts of 'just' $190 billion and making Africa a major net creditor to the world. But those assets are in the hands of a few wealthy people, protected by offshore secrecy, while the debts are shouldered by broad African populations, it says.

Let’s take a look at some of the most secretive economies in the world.

Note: Financial Secrecy Index is calculated by multiplying the cube of the Secrecy Score with the cube root of the Global Scale Weight. The final result is divided through by one hundred for presentational clarity.

Note 2: Global Scale Weight represent a jurisdiction's share in global financial services exports.

Source: Financial Secrecy Index

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Image: A woman talks on a phone next to a sign displaying currency exchange rates.
Photographs: Konstantin Chernichkin/Reuters

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Switzerland

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 1.765,3

Secrecy Score: 78

Global scale weight: 4,916

Overall rank: 1

Switzerland, which has a per capita income of $45,999, has the most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: A woman and her child play inside a temporary labyrinth at a shopping mall in Allaman near Lausanne, Switzerland.
Photographs: Valentin Flauraud/Reuters

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Luxembourg

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 1.454,5

Secrecy Score: 67

Global scale weight: 12,049

Overall rank: 2

Luxembourg, which has a per capita income of $79,785, has the second most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: A view of Luxembourg city, Luxembourg.
Photographs: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

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Hong Kong

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 1.283,4

Secrecy Score: 72

Global scale weight: 4,206

Overall rank: 3

Hong Kong, which has a per capita income of $52,687, has the third most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: Participants compete in a wife-carrying obstacle race at a shopping mall in Hong Kong.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters
Tags: Hong Kong

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Cayman Islands

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 1.233,6

Secrecy Score: 70

Global scale weight: 4,694

Overall rank: 4

Cayman Islands, which has a per capita income of $43,800, has the fourth most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: People walk out of a branch of the Cayman National Bank in George Town, Cayman Islands.
Photographs: Gary Hershorn/Reuters

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Singapore

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 1.216,9

Secrecy Score: 70

Global scale weight: 4,280

Overall rank: 5

Singapore, which has a per capita income of $61,046, has the fifth most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: A model presents a creation by Indian designer Devki Karer for label DEVKI's in Singapore.
Photographs: Tim Chong/Reuters
Tags: Singapore

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United States

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 1.213,0

Secrecy Score: 58

Global scale weight: 22,586

Overall rank: 6

United States, which has a per capita income of $52,839, has the sixth most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: Visitors to a bar ride a mechanical bull on Sixth Street in Austin, Texas, United States.
Photographs: Adrees Latif/Reuters

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Lebanon

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 747,9

Secrecy Score: 79

Global scale weight: 0,354

Overall rank: 7

Lebanon, which has a per capita income of $15,522, has the seventh most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: A youth jumps over his friends as he skates on roller blades in Corniche Al Manara on the Beirut Riviera in Lebanon.
Photographs: Jamal Saidi/Reuters
Tags: Lebanon

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Germany

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 738,3

Secrecy Score: 59

Global scale weight: 4,326

Overall rank: 8

Germany, which has a per capita income of $39,468, has the eighth most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: Women compete in a 100-metre stiletto sprint competition in Berlin, Germany.
Photographs: Thomas Peter/Reuters
Tags: Germany

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Jersey

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 591,7

Secrecy Score: 75

Global scale weight: 0,263

Overall rank: 9

Jersey, which has a per capita income of $57,000, has the ninth most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: A welcome sign at the Jersey Airport.
Photographs: Source, Man vyi/Wikimedia Commons
Tags: Jersey

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Japan

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 513,1

Secrecy Score: 61

Global scale weight: 1,185

Overall rank: 10

Japan, which has a per capita income of $37,135, has the 10th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: Pedestrians walk across a zebra crossing in Tokyo, Japan.
Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Japan

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Panama

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 489,6

Secrecy Score: 73

Global scale weight: 0,190

Overall rank: 11

Panama, which has a per capita income of $15,616, has the 11th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: A man dives into the waters of Panama Bay in Panama City, Panama.
Photographs: Carlos Jasso/Reuters
Tags: Panama

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Malaysia

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 471,7

Secrecy Score: 80

Global scale weight: 0,082

Overall rank: 12

Malaysia, which has a per capita income of $17,675, has the 12th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: A view of Kuala Lumpur downtown, Malaysia.
Photographs: Bazuki Muhammad/Reuters
Tags: Malaysia

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Bahrain

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 461,2

Secrecy Score: 72

Global scale weight: 0,182

Overall rank: 13

Bahrain, which has a per capita income of $27,556, has the 13th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: A view of Bahrain's capital Manama.
Photographs: Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters
Tags: Bahrain

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Bermuda

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 432,4

Secrecy Score: 80

Global scale weight: 0,061

Overall rank: 14

Bermuda, which has a per capita income of $84,381, has the 14th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: Tourists walk on the top deck aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Grandeur of the Seas en route to Hamilton, Bermuda.
Photographs: Gary Cameron/Reuters
Tags: Bermuda

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Guernsey

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 419,4

Secrecy Score: 67

Global scale weight: 0,257

Overall rank: 15

Guernsey, which has a per capita income of $54,627, has the 15th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: A view of Guernsey.
Photographs: Source, Man vyi/Wikimedia Commons
Tags: Guernsey

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 419,0

Secrecy Score: 79

Global scale weight: 0,061

Overall rank: 16

Dubai, which is the financial and tourism hub of the United Arab Emirates, has the 16th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: People shop in Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Photographs: Ghazal Watfa/Reuters

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Canada

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 418,5

Secrecy Score: 54

Global scale weight: 2,008

Overall rank: 17

Canada, which has a per capita income of $43,146, has the 17th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: A view of Old Quebec City, Canada.
Photographs: Mathieu Belanger/Reuters
Tags: Canada

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Austria

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 400,8

Secrecy Score: 64

Global scale weight: 0,371

Overall rank: 18

Austria, which has a per capita income of $42,408, has the 18th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: People enjoy the evening at Donaukanal in the centre of Vienna, Austria.
Photographs: Herwig Prammer/Reuters
Tags: Austria

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Mauritius

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 397,9

Secrecy Score: 80

Global scale weight: 0,047

Overall rank: 19

Mauritius, which has a per capita income of $15,591, has the 19th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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

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British Virgin Islands

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 385,4

Secrecy Score: 66

Global scale weight: 0,241

Overall rank: 20

British Virgin Islands, which has a per capita income of $43,366, has the 20th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: A view of British Virgin Islands.
Photographs: Source, Henry A-W/Wikimedia Commons

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United Kingdom

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 361,3

Secrecy Score: 40

Global scale weight: 18,530

Overall rank: 21

United Kingdom, which has a per capita income of $37,299, has the 21st most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: Pedestrians walk past a store on Oxford Street in central London, United Kingdom.
Photographs: Neil Hall/Reuters

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Macau

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 360,5

Secrecy Score: 71

Global scale weight: 0,108

Overall rank: 22

Macau, which has a per capita income of $82,400, has the 22nd most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: Attendants welcome guests inside Galaxy Macau, a resort in Macau.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters
Tags: Macau

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Marshall Islands

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 329,6

Secrecy Score: 82

Global scale weight: 0,022

Overall rank: 23

Marshall Islands, which has a per capita income of $2,900, has the 23rd most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: Marshall Islands.
Photographs: Source, simflight.com

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South Korea

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 328,8

Secrecy Score: 54

Global scale weight: 0,978

Overall rank: 24

South Korea, which has a per capita income of $33,156, has the 24th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: People walk past flowerpots made of old jeans during a recycling campaign at a shop at the Myeongdong shopping district in Seoul, South Korea.
Photographs: Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters

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Russia

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 325,3

Secrecy Score: 60

Global scale weight: 0,318

Overall rank: 25

Russia, which has a per capita income of $18,083, has the 25th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: A street vendor stands by her kiosk as she sells souvenirs in St Petersburg, Russia.
Photographs: Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters
Tags: Russia

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Barbados

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 317,5

Secrecy Score: 81

Global scale weight: 0,021

Overall rank: 26

Barbados, which has a per capita income of $25,372, has the 26th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: Horses from a local race course are given a morning bath along a public beach just outside Bridgetown, Barbados.
Photographs: Andy Clark/Reuters
Tags: Barbados

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Liberia

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 300,9

Secrecy Score: 83

Global scale weight: 0,014

Overall rank: 27

Liberia, which has a per capita income of $672, has the 27th most financially secretive economy in the world.

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Image: Competitors ride waves at the third annual Surf Liberia Contest at Robertsport in Liberia.
Photographs: Simon Akam/Reuters
Tags: Liberia

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Seychelles

Financial Secrecy Index-value: 293,5

Secrecy Score: 85

Global scale weight: 0,011

Overall rank: 28

Seychelles, which has a per capita income of $25,229, has the 28th most financially secretive economy in the world.


Image: People walk along a beach in Seychelles.
Photographs: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters

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