Taiwan stays in 15th spot in economic freedom: report
CNATAIPEI -- Taiwan remained 15th in economic freedom in the latest global ranking produced by the Canada-based Fraser Institute, finishing ahead of the United States and regional rivals Japan, South Korea and China.
September 21, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
In the 2013 Economic Freedom of the World report, which was based on financial data for 2011, Taiwan had an overall score of 7.77, good enough for 15th among the 152 economies surveyed and fifth in the Asia-Pacific region, behind Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia.
Hong Kong topped the rankings with a score of 8.97, and Singapore was second with an 8.73, while the U.S. ended up two spots behind Taiwan in 17th at 7.73.
Japan and South Korea were tied for 33rd with a score of 7.50, and China finished 123rd.
The study measures “the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom,” and considers indicators in five broad areas: size of government, legal system and property rights, sound money, freedom to trade internationally, and regulation.
Taiwan performed best in the sound money category, finishing 18th with a score of 9.5. It was weakest in the international trade (44th, 7.7) and regulation categories (77th, 7.1).
American and European business groups in Taiwan have repeatedly complained of excessive trade and business regulations in Taiwan, seeing them as impediments to possible free trade agreements in the future.
Yet South Korea, which has completed free trade pacts with both the United States and Europe, scored below Taiwan in both the international trade (53rd, 7.6) and regulation (86th, 6.9) categories.
Taiwan's overall finish matched its 15th-place ranking in the 2012 report (with a score of 7.72), which covered 144 countries and territories.