Iran is world’s 171st in economic freedom
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 16
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
The 2015 Index of Economic Freedom- jointly published by the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., and The Wall Street Journal- ranks the Islamic Republic as having the 171st freest economy out of 186 countries around the world.
Iran's score has increased by 1.5 points since last year and stood at 41.8 points, with improvements in five of the 10 economic freedoms, including labor freedom (41.7 to 51.3), the control of government spending (85.9 to 93), and monetary freedom (47.3 to 48.7), freedom from corruption (23.4 to 25) and fiscal freedom (80.6 to 81.2).
Score for property rights (10), investment freedom (0), trade freedom (41.4) and financial freedom (10) remain unchanged from last year, while the score for business freedom slipped from 62.3 to 57.
The Islamic Republic is ranked last out of 15 countries in the Middle East/North Africa region, and its overall score is well below the world and regional averages.
International isolation and a faltering domestic economy have undermined economic freedom in Iran.
Over the past five years, its score has declined by 0.3 point, with losses concentrated in three of the 10 economic freedoms. In particular, rising business regulations have made it harder for entrepreneurs to do business. Capital flight and increased inflation due to currency devaluation also have affected the petroleum-dependent economy.
Hong Kong with overall score of 89.6 topped the list, followed by Singapore (89.4), New Zealand (82.1), Australia (81.4) and Switzerland (80.5), the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom report said.
North Korea (1.3), Cuba (29.6) and Venezuela (34.3) are the worst countries in terms of economic freedom, according to the report.
Edited by CN
Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh