India's Centre for Civil Society in collaboration with Canada's Fraser Institute on 15 September 2016 released the Economic Freedom of the World 2016 Annual Report.
The report is based on data from 2014 and measures the World Economic Freedom (WEF) Index by analysing the policies and institutions of 159 countries and territories.
Highlights of the Index
• Hong Kong topped the index followed by Singapore and New Zealand at second and third position.
• The other top 10 countries in the Index are Switzerland, Canada, Georgia, Ireland, Mauritius, the UAE, Australia and the UK.
• The 10 lowest-ranked countries are: Iran, Algeria, Chad, Guinea, Angola, Central African Republic, Argentina, Republic of Congo, Libya and lastly Venezuela.
• Other notable countries are- the United States (16), Germany (30), Japan (40), France (57) and Russia (102).
• The economic freedom has increased throughout the world during the past three decades. Between 1985 and 2014, economic freedom among high-income countries rose from 6.9 to 7.7 points.
• Nations in the top quartile of economic freedom had an average per-capita GDP of 41228 US dollars in 2014, compared to 5471 US dollars for bottom quartile nations.
• In addition, life expectancy is 80.4 years in the top quartile compared to 64.0 years in the bottom quartile.
India's Position in World Economic Freedom (WEF) Index
• India has slipped 10 positions and fetched 112th spot among all 159 countries in the Index.
• It ranks behind Bhutan (78), Nepal (108) and Sri Lanka (111) but stood higher than China (113), Bangladesh (121) and Pakistan (133) in the Index.
• India has fared badly in all categories i.e. legal system and property rights (86), sound money (130), freedom to trade internationally (144) and regulation (132) except the size of the government (8).
About Economic Freedom of the World Report
The Fraser Institute produces the annual Economic Freedom of the World report in cooperation with the Economic Freedom Network, a group of independent research and educational institutes.
It uses a ten-point scale that measures the degree of economic freedom in five broad areas-
• Size of government: expenditures, taxes, and enterprises
• Legal structure and security of property rights
• Access to sound money
• Freedom to trade internationally
• Regulation of credit, labor, and business
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