According to the latest economic freedom index, compiled and published by the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, DC, based think-tank, Estonia has the eighth freest economy in the world, and the second freest in Europe, behind Switzerland.
The Heritage Foundation said that despite the eurozone crisis and a half-decade of weak regional growth, Estonia’s domestic economy has proven resilient and economic freedom has advanced. “Since 2011, economic freedom has increased in a majority of the 10 factors, with strong improvements in the property rights regime and the entrepreneurial environment,” the think-tank said in a foreword to Estonia brief.
According to the foundation, the past three years have helped confirm Estonia as a regional leader in economic freedom, reestablished as one of the world’s 10 freest economies for the first time since 2007. “Minimal state interference has been accompanied by a prudent fiscal policy, a commitment to open markets and overall regulatory efficiency.”
The 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, compiled in partnership with the Wall Street Journal, showed that Estonia’s economy was the eighth freest. “Its overall score is higher than last year, reflecting improvements in six of the 10 economic freedoms, including business freedom, freedom from corruption and labor freedom. Estonia is ranked second out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is well above the regional and world averages,” the think-tank said.
Estonia was surpassed by Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Canada and Chile.
Cover: Tallinn skyline by Gen Vagula.