Ukraine ranks last among Europe's 44 countries in terms of economic freedom

12:56, 04 February 2018
Economy
856
REUTERS

"Ukraine's economic freedom score is 51.9, making its economy the 150th freest in the 2018 Index [of Economic Freedom]. Its overall score has increased by 3.8 points, reflecting improvements in eight of the 12 economic freedom indicators and particularly significant improvements in monetary freedom and investment freedom," according to the research conducted by The Heritage Foundation (the United States).

Read alsoBig Mac index shows Ukraine's hryvnia undervalued by 69% – The Economist"Ukraine's oligarch-dominated economy had already slowed before Russia's 2014 occupation of Crimea and ongoing aggression in the eastern part of the country badly damaged economic growth. Significant progress was made on reforms to make the country more prosperous, democratic, and transparent, but more improvements are needed, including fighting corruption, developing capital markets, privatizing state-owned enterprises, and improving the legislative framework and the rule of law. Public enthusiasm for Western reforms has waned, however, as economic stagnation continues," the research said.

According to the research, the momentum for business reform has stalled, and political instability continues to compound regulatory uncertainty in commercial transactions. Ukraine has a well-educated and skilled labor force, but the labor code is outmoded and not enforced consistently. The government has reduced energy subsidies and is ending some special tax breaks for agriculture.

"Property rights are protected under Ukrainian law, and mortgages and liens are recorded. There are serious issues regarding corruption in the judiciary, one of the country's weakest and least trusted public institutions. Judges are largely seen as protectors of business and other powerful sources of influence. Corruption remains a serious problem for Ukraine, and progress on increasing accountability is quite slow," it said.

The rating is topped by Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, and Ireland.

The Index of Economic Freedom is an annual guide published by The Heritage Foundation, Washington's No. 1 think tank. The Index covers 12 freedoms – from property rights to financial freedom – in 186 countries.

The Heritage Foundation measures economic freedom based on 12 quantitative and qualitative factors, grouped into four broad categories, or pillars, of economic freedom: the rule of law (property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness); the government size (government spending, tax burden, fiscal health); regulatory efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom), and open markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom).

Each of the twelve economic freedoms within these categories is graded on a scale of 0 to 100. A country's overall score is derived by averaging these twelve economic freedoms, with equal weight being given to each.

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