According to the recently released “Economic Freedom of the World Index” by the Canadian Fraser Institute, the Czech Republic has secured the seventeenth position among 165 surveyed countries in terms of economic freedom. Notably, the country has not only advanced in the absolute ranking of economic freedom but has also improved its relative ranking, rising to the 22nd spot compared to last year’s revised ranking. This report was unveiled in a press release by the Liberal Institute today. In a historic shift, Singapore has claimed the title of the world’s most economically free country, while Venezuela retains its position at the bottom of the rankings, a consistent trend in recent years.
The Economic Freedom of the World Index, in existence since 1996, utilizes data from 2021 for this year’s report. The delay in publication arises from the necessity to collect data from 165 countries. The index evaluates five key indicators related to the size of the government sector, the level of adherence to the rule of law, international trade, overall regulatory framework, and the monetary and inflationary environment of each country.
Martin Pánek, Director of the Liberal Institute, emphasized the positive trend in the Czech Republic, stating, “The main takeaway should be that economic freedom has increased in the Czech Republic. After a five-year period of diminishing economic freedom, we have successfully reversed this trend.”
The Czech Republic showed improvement in four out of the five index indicators, with a slight setback in the inflationary environment. In 2021, the year used for the published data, the country experienced an uptick in inflation, a trend that had begun toward the end of the previous year.
Finland and Sweden shared the seventeenth position with the Czech Republic, while Germany ranked 23rd, Austria 28th, Slovakia 41st, Hungary 49th, and Poland 59th. According to the Liberal Institute, the Czech Republic boasts the most liberalized economy in Central Europe.
Singapore’s ascendancy to the top spot marked a significant shift as it displaced Hong Kong, which had consistently held the title of the world’s most economically free country since 1960. Martin Pánek noted that Hong Kong’s decline in economic freedom is a result of increasing repression by the Chinese central government, a trend expected to persist.
Conversely, the ten countries with the lowest economic freedom rankings are Congo, Algeria, Argentina, Libya, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela. Notably, North Korea and Cuba are excluded from the ranking due to a lack of available data.