IN THE MIDST of its current corruption pandemic, Panama was listed on Thursday, September 28 as one of the top 30 “most economically free” countries in the world.
In its annual report on Economic Freedom in the World, the Freedom Foundation and the Canadian Fraser Institute assessed 159 countries and Panama ranked 29th
According to the Freedom Foundation, Hong Kong and Singapore are again in first positions with first and second place, respectively. New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Mauritius, Georgia, Australia and Estonia make up the balance of the 10 freest countries.
"In countries where people are free to pursue their own opportunities and make their own choices, theylead more prosperous, happy and healthy lives, "said Fred McMahon, of the Fraser Institute.
The report was prepared by James Gwartney of Florida State University; Robert Lawson of Southern Methodist University; and Joshua Hall of West Virginia University.
The Freedom Foundation said that the Economic Freedom report is based on the data collected in the year 2015 and the measure of economic freedom - which included variables such as level of personal choice, ability to enter the market, property security, rule of law, regulations "
The countries with the lowest positions within the index are Iran, Chad, Burma, Syria, Libya, Argentina, Algeria, the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and Venezuela.
Some "tyrannical countries" such as North Korea or Cuba could not be classified within this index due to lack of data, said the Foundation.
Other evaluations highlighted by the Foundation were the United States and Canada that tied in position 11; Germany is 23, Japan 39, France 52, India 95, Russia 100, China in the 112 and Brazil occupied the position 137.
"According to research conducted by academic journals, people living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, greater
political and civil liberties, and longer lives, "the report said.
The Fraser Institute produces the annual report on World Economic Freedom in
cooperation with the Economic Freedom Network, an independent group of researchers educational institutes in almost 100 countries and territories.