ASTANA – Kazakhstan has been ranked 52nd among 159 countries in the Economic Freedom of the World report published Sept. 15 by Fraser Institute. The report is based on 2014 data.
“The index published in Economic Freedom of the World measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom. The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to enter markets and compete and security of the person and privately owned property,” noted institute’s website.
The summary index is based on 42 different data points in five areas, such as size of government expenditures, taxes, and enterprises; legal structure and security of property rights; access to sound money; freedom to trade internationally and regulation of credit, labour and business.
According to the report, Kazakhstan has improved three spots compared to the previous year, when it ranked 55th. Since 2005, the country has risen from 70th place.
In reviewing each section, Kazakhstan collected high points in areas such as credit market, labour market and business regulations. Judging by this indicator alone, the nation is ranked 22nd among all participating countries. At the same time, the weakest indicator is freedom to trade internationally, where it is only 128th.
“Kazakhstan’s result can be called good as 52th place in the ranking takes into account negative factors of the current crises. It should be noted that the rating and research institutes do not always take into account all the specific factors of a particular economy. At the same time, Astana has reserves to increase the degree of economic freedom of entrepreneurs,” said Alexey Chekryzhov, an analyst at Berlek-Yedinstvo, a geopolitical, public expert organisation working in the field of policy analysis and planning, monitoring and research in the Eurasian region.
Kazakhstan pays a lot of attention to business development, as the tools to stimulate entrepreneurial activity are changing and being modernised, he said.
“Earlier subsidies and funding for priority activities were in first place, while today the institutional transformation of state comes to the forefront, designed to increase the attractiveness of entrepreneurship,” he added.
Chekryzhov also noted Kazakhstan will soon be launching an interesting experiment which will also affect legislation regarding entrepreneurship.
“We are talking about plans to create an Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), the legal and regulatory framework of which will be based on the English legal system. Of course, these rules will only work in the territory of the AIFC. However, the relationship between the two legal systems is very interesting. Perhaps this intersection is the place where new tools for the liberalisation of the economy will be found,” he said.
In its rating Kazakhstan amassed the same number of points as Peru and follows Spain. Neighbouring Kyrgyz Republic is ranked 70th; Tajikistan, 84th; Russia, 102nd and Azerbaijan, 107th.
The highest positions were achieved by Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Switzerland, Canada, Georgia, Ireland, Mauritius, the United Arab Emirates, Australia and the United Kingdom were among the top 10. The lowest-rated countries were Iran, Algeria, Chad, Guinea, Angola, the Central African Republic, Argentina, the Republic of the Congo, Libya and Venezuela.
The Fraser Institute produces the annual Economic Freedom of the World report in cooperation with the Economic Freedom Network, a group of independent research and educational institutes in nearly 100 countries and territories.