Macedonia is among the countries that have made the greatest progress according to the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, announced by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal.Macedonia is ranked 56th in the world, being by 22 positions higher than the previous year.
According to the Report, Macedonia’s overall score increased by 4.5 index points, being the highest among all countries in the world and belonging to the group of mainly economically free countries.
It obtained the highest score in the field of fiscal and trade freedom, while property and legal relations and coping with corruption obtained the lowest score. Progress in the field of labour market, tax reforms and monetary freedom was registered. Macedonia, according to the Report, enjoys high levels of trade freedom, fiscal freedom and monetary freedom.
Tax system was assessed as competitive, and improvement of the tax administration was also noticed. Monetary stability is relatively well maintained. Macedonia is generally open to global trade, and the financial sector has overcome the global crisis relatively well.
What Macedonia needs is institutional improvement of both the property and legal relations and the fight against corruption. Court system is still prone to corruption and political interference, due to which it is inefficient, and human trafficking, smuggling of drugs and weapons remain serious problems, the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal assessed.
Out of the countries in the region, Albania holds the 53rd position, followed by Slovenia – 61, Turkey – 67, Montenegro – 68, Greece – 73, Bulgaria – 75, Croatia-92 and Bosnia and Herzegovina – 110.
According to the Report, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia have maintained their position as the world’s freest economies. New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, the USA, Denmark and Chile are also among the top 10 countries, while Burma, Eritrea, Cuba, Zimbabwe and North Korea are at the bottom of the list.