Economic Freedom Index 2017: Georgia Improved Its Position

The Heritage Foundation published Economic Freedom Index 2017, on which Georgia recieved 76 points and and the economic freedom status, mostly free, on February 15.

The report covers 12 freedoms – from property rights to entrepreneurship – in 186 countries and says that Georgia has improved its positions by moving from the 23rd position to 13th in world rank. In terms of regional Georgia is ranked fifth.

“Georgia’s government has maintained strong momentum in liberalizing economic activity while taking steps to restore fiscal discipline. Public debt and budget deficits remain under control. Open-market policies, supported by competitively low tax rates and regulatory efficiency, have facilitated flows of trade and investment. Large-scale privatization has advanced, and anti-corruption efforts have yielded some notable results,” the report reads.

The report says that Georgia achieved notable success in fiscal policy, regulatory efficiency, and open markets. However, concerns are expressed about property rights, judicial effectiveness, and government integrity.

“With monetary stability and the overall soundness of fiscal health relatively well maintained, Georgia has enjoyed macroeconomic resilience. Nonetheless, deeper and more rapid institutional reforms to enhance judicial independence and effectiveness remain critical to ensuring further dynamic and lasting economic development,” the document says.

In the world rank, Hong Kong takes the top position, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland ,and Austria, while Eritrea, Congo, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea are at the bottom of Index of Economic Freedom 2017 list.

Launched in 1995, the Index evaluates countries in four broad policy areas that affect economic freedom: rule of law; government size; regulatory efficiency; and open markets. There are 12 specific categories: property rights, judicial effectiveness, government integrity, tax burden, government spending, fiscal health, business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom. Scores in these categories are averaged to create an overall score.

By Thea Morrison

16 February 2017 15:04