EghtesadOnline: The Washington DC-based think tank, Heritage Foundation, released their annual Index of Economic Freedom for 2019 on Wednesday, which shows Iran gaining a higher score compared with the year before.
Of the 186 countries included in this 25th edition of the index, 180 are fully scored and ranked. Because of the lack of sufficient reliable data, six countries, namely Iraq, Libya, Liechtenstein, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, were evaluated and partially graded, but not ranked.
For analytical understanding and presentational clarity, the 12 economic freedoms were grouped into the following four categories: "Rule of law" (property rights, judicial effectiveness and government integrity); "government size" (tax burden, government spending and fiscal health); "Regulatory efficiency" (business freedom, labor freedom and monetary freedom) and "market openness" (trade freedom, investment freedom and financial freedom).
Ranked countries are given an overall score ranging from 0 to 100 on each of the 12 components of economic freedom, and these scores are then averaged, using equal weights, to compute a country’s final economic freedom score, Financial Tribune reported.
Iran’s economic freedom score stood at 51.1, making its economy the 155th freest in the 2019 Index. Its overall score increased by 0.2 point, with higher scores for "judicial effectiveness" and "investment freedom" exceeding declines in "labor freedom" and "business freedom".
Iran is ranked 13th among 14 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, and its overall score was below the regional and world average.
Hong Kong came in first in the annual ranking of the world’s most “economically free” countries, topping the chart for the 25th straight year.
An economically free society is defined as an environment where individuals can work, produce, consume and invest in any way they please, and governments allow workers, money flowsand goods to move freely.
The yearly Index of Economic Freedom was launched in 1995 by the Heritage Foundation and American business-focused daily The Wall Street Journal.
The foundation's previous report showed Iran's economic freedom score at 50.9, saying the country was the 156th freest out of 180 countries. Its overall score increased by 0.4 point, with modest improvements in "monetary freedom", "labor freedom" and "government integrity", offsetting lower scores for "fiscal health", "government spending" and "judicial effectiveness".
Iran was ranked 13th among 14 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region in the 2018 report.