Singapore, 1st place in the 2023 Economic Freedom of the World index

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Published by the Fraser Institute on September 19, 2023, the Economic Freedom of the World index has revealed that Singapore has claimed the top spot among nations with the most supportive policies for economic freedom.

According to the report, “The fundamental principles of economic freedom include individual choice, voluntary transactions, the ability to freely enter markets and compete, and the protection of personal safety and privately owned property.”

In a noteworthy shift, Hong Kong has, for the first time, relinquished its position as the leader due to the restrictive policies of the Chinese government. The report identifies that the Chinese government has introduced “new and significant barriers to market entry” in Hong Kong, along with an overall increase in the cost of conducting business in the region. Additionally, there has been a deterioration in the rule of law, which has contributed to the city’s decline.

Following Singapore and Hong Kong, the top 10 rankings include Switzerland, New Zealand, the United States, Ireland, Denmark, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada. In contrast, the Republic of Congo, Algeria, Argentina, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Zimbabwe, and, lastly, Venezuela occupy the lowest positions on the list.

The report utilizes data that assesses countries based on 45 distinct factors, covering areas such as trade openness, government size, monetary policy, regulation, and the legal system, up to the year 2021, which is the most recent year for which comparable international statistics are available. It reveals that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant drop in global economic freedom in 2020, and this level was sustained in 2021. This decline effectively erased a decade of economic freedom growth.

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