Estonia scores ninth in the world by economic freedom

Estonia has scored ninth in the world by economic freedom in the Heritage Foundation’s 2016 Index of Economic Freedom; compared with the last year, Estonia has dropped by one place.

The Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, says in its report that the Estonian economy continues to benefit from the government’s strong commitment to economic freedom. “The rule of law is enforced by an independent judicial system. A simplified tax system, dependable regulatory efficiency and dynamic engagement with global commerce support the resilient and well-functioning economy.”

In addition to scoring ninth in the world, Estonia scores third in Europe in this year’s index. The Heritage Foundation classifies the Estonian economy as “mostly free” and says the country’s had notable successes in enforcing the rule of law, the management of public finances and open markets.

In Europe, Estonia scores third after Switzerland and Ireland. In the whole world, Estonia is preceded by Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Chile and Ireland.

In comparison with the last year’s index, Estonia has dropped one place in both worldwide and regional indexes with the difference being Ireland’s addition to countries more successful with economic freedom than Estonia.

Launched in 1995, the Index of Economic Freedom evaluates countries in four broad policy areas that affect economic freedom: rule of law; limited government; regulatory efficiency; and open markets. Based on an average score, each of 178 countries graded in the index is classified as “free” (combined scores of 80 or higher); “mostly free” (70-79.9); “moderately free” (60- 69.9); “mostly unfree” (50-59.9); or “repressed” (under 50).

The Heritage Foundation is an American public policy research institute, founded in 1973. The organisation develops public policy solutions that advance free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional values and a strong national defence.

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Cover: Tallinn skyline (courtesy of EAS).