Ireland in top 3 of the 2008 Index of Economic Freedom

04 March, 2008

Ireland has been rated third to Hong Kong and Singapore as the most economically friendly country in the world by The Heritage Council, who released its 14th annual 2008 Index of Economic Freedom this month. The index takes 162 countries and compares them, examining 10 different economic policies including business, trade, fiscal, monetary, investment, financial and labour freedoms together the country's property rights, the size of the country's government and the freedom from corruption that a country enjoys.
Top of the list was Hong Kong, with an overall score out of 90.3 out of 100 followed by Singapore (87.4), Ireland (82.4) and Australia (82). The US (80.6) and the UK (79.5) ranked fifth and tenth respectively. Europe (66.8) reigns supreme as the world's most economically friendly region, followed by the Americas (61.6), Asia-Pacific (58.7), Middle East and North Africa (58.7) and sub-Saharan Africa (54.5).
Europe's consistent success in the Index has been attributed to its determination to advance its economic freedoms through policy improvements such as tax cuts and other business climate reforms, as well as a healthy sense of competition between member states as they compete with one another to attract more investment. There were some relative surprises: two of the world's fastest growing economies, China (52.8) and India (54.2) only earned 126th and 115th respectively, largely due to their low ratings in the areas of labour freedom, property rights and corruption. However, the report was eager to point out that, if appropriate economic reforms and measures were to be put in place in these two most bullish of markets, "the rise in global prosperity will be spectacular".
 Top 10 Most Economically Friendly Countries
1 Hong Kong (90.3)
2 Singapore (87.4)
3 Ireland (82.4)
4 Australia (82)
5 United States (80.6)
6 New Zealand (80.2)
7 Canada (80.2)
8 Chile (79.8)
9 Switzerland (79.7)
10 United Kingdom (79.5)
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