Macedonia jumps to 31 in the world in Heritage index of economic freedom

The Heritage Foundation ranked Macedonia 31st in the world in its economic freedom index, putting it in the category of mostly free countries for the first time since rankings began.

In the previous report, Macedonia was ranked 47th, and was still among the "moderately free countries". Macedonia got 70,7 points, which reflect the economic freedom in four chief categories - rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency and open markets.

The leading US conservative foundation traditionally gives best grades to Macedonia on its tax system, where Macedonia got 91,9 points for its low and uncomplicated taxation regime. Grades in size of government and the debt are also above average, with the Heritage report pointing out that the debt is at 38,6 percent of GDP, while public spending stands at 32,2 percent.

Macedonia received 67 points for its respect of property rights, 52 points for government integrity and 61,4 percent for judicial efficiency. "Notably, Macedonia and Armenia have joined the ranks of the “mostly free,” with Macedonia ranked “mostly free” for the first time ever and Armenia regaining a level of economic freedom it had not experienced since 2006", the report notes.

Out of the neighboring countries, Kosovo and Bulgaria are best placed, at 46 and 47 in the world. Albania is 65th, Serbia is 99th and Greece is all the way down on the 127th place. The report is notable for ranking the United States 17th in the world, the first time this country was not among the 15 freest countries in the world. According to the Heritage, this is due to the large debt and deficit issues the US faces, as well as the worsening of the regulatory regime.

Freest countries in the world are Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland and Australia, while Communist led countries such as North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba are among the last. War torn Syria, Iraq, Lybia and Somalia are not ranked.

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