By Aygul Salmanova
Azerbaijan has improved its positions in the Index of Economic Freedom 2018, compiled by the US influential think tank The Heritage Foundation.
Azerbaijan’s economic freedom score is 64.3, making its economy the 67th freest in the 2018 Index among 173 countries. Its overall score has increased by 0.7 point, with improvements in the business freedom, trade freedom, property rights and judicial effectiveness.
Openness to global trade and investment, supported by some improvements in regulatory efficiency and other factors, aided Azerbaijan’s transition to a more market-based economic system during the commodity boom.
Azerbaijan gained 53.6 points in property rights compared to 50.5 percent in 2017.
The country gained 39.9 points (33 points in 2017) in government integrity, 59.4 points (57.5 points in 2017) in government spending, 72.3 points (71.5 points in 2017) in business freedom, 74.6 points (74.4 points in 2017) in trade freedom, 60 points (50 points) in financial freedom.
Azerbaijan ranks 14th among 43 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is above the regional and world averages.
An index of economic freedom is a method of scoring and ranking jurisdictions on the basis of the level of economic freedom – judged by various factors such as rule of law, property rights, tax and regulation – their residents enjoy.
The Index of Economic Freedom, as the Heritage Foundation's ranking is called, scores countries based on twelve factors: property rights, judicial effectiveness, government integrity, tax burden, government spending, fiscal health, business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom and financial freedom. These are compiled into a single score, according to which countries are ranked from most (highest score) to least free.
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