ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Asia-Pacific countries score “moderately free” in the 2018 economic freedom index

Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand were amongst the world’s free economies.

The Heritage Foundation’s latest statistics showed that Asia-Pacific countries scored 61 in the 2018 index of economic freedom, which is just a little above the line of moderately free, up from 60.4 last year.

The index gave scores based on four categories: rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency, and open markets.

Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand were four of the world’s free economies, whilst Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and Macau were ranked as mostly free.

Hong Kong topped the global ranking, with a score of 90.2, whilst Singapore came second with a score of 88.8. The two countries have ranked the first and second for 24 consecutive years.

“Many of the Asia-Pacific countries are performing well in controlling the size of government, maintaining the rule of law, and regulating economic activity efficiently,” The Heritage Foundation said.

Meanwhile, the global average score was at 61.1, which is the highest recorded in the 24-year history of the Index, The Heritage Foundation said.

Out of the 180 countries that were ranked, 102 countries improved, whilst 75 declined.

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