Romania has improved its economic freedom score in Heritage Foundation's global ranking, advancing five positions over the previous year to the 57th place, achieving its highest score ever.
Our country got 66.6 points, 1.1 points more than in the 2014 Index, above the world average, “reflecting improvements in freedom from corruption, labor freedom, and the management of government spending that outweigh a decline in business freedom”, states the report issued in cooperation with the World Street Journal.
In the Europe region, Romania is ranked 27th out of 43 countries, better than western countries like France, Italy, Portugal, but worse than Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic or Poland.
The steady improvement recorded in the last five years has resulted from important gains in reducing corruption and loosening labor regulations, yet Romania's economy has many shortcomings, its status as a transitional economy being still apparent, shows the study: “Judicial independence is precarious, and the government has struggled to meet EU anti-corruption requirements. Despite progress, the business environment remains inefficient, a remnant of the country’s Communist past”.
Of ten economic freedoms assessed, corruption remains Romania's major problem, in spite of the highest advance in terms of score (+5.3 points). A progress was registered in four other categories: government spending, labor freedom, monetary freedom, and trade freedom, while three categories stagnated – property rights, investment freedom and financial freedom. Fiscal freedom and business freedom declined (-0.1, -1.2, respectively).
Overall, Hong Kong preserved its leading position among the world's freest economies, followed by Singapore, the New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland.