‘Only’ Bangladesh’s progress in Economic Freedom Index
Published: 12:48 PM, 22 March 2021 Updated: 01:36 PM, 22 March 2021
Bangladesh is the only country making progress in South Asia in Economic Freedom Index; File Photo
This year Bangladesh has made progress as the “only country” in South Asia in the economic freedom index. In this index, Bangladesh ranks 2nd in the list of economically free countries in the region. Besides, another South Asian country Bhutan topped the place.
This information has come up in ‘The Heritage Foundation’s 2021 Economic Freedom Index, a Washington-based conservative think tank.
India ranks 3rd in South Asia in the published index and Nepal is in the lowest position.
The scores of all the South Asian countries except Bangladesh have decreased in this year’s index. However, Bangladesh ranks 120th in the index with a score of 56.5 out of 100 globally.
Bangladesh’s score has increased more than before in this year’s index in terms of the integrity of government, tax burden, freedom of business and freedom of labour. Bangladesh has made a big leap in the index mainly due to the significant improvement in the tax burden score. This is considered to be a major factor in the overall economic independence of a country.
According to the Heritage Foundation’s report, the tax burden is measured by direct tax burden, tax rate at individual and corporate levels, and total revenue collected as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), and revenue.
Bangladesh has made slow progress in the last decade to achieve economic independence, however, the progress has been made in a stable nature, the report said.
The Heritage Foundation evaluates a country’s economic independence based on four broad categories - rule of law, size of government, regulatory efficiency, and open market.
These four broad categories include 12 measures - independence of property, judicial efficiency, integrity of government, tax burden, government expenditure, revenue health, freedom of trade, labour, monetary policy, trade, investment and financial independence.
Of the 178 economies in the 2021 Economic Freedom Index, five are in the ‘free’ category, including Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. 33 economies including UK, US, South Korea, on the other hand, are on the ‘largely free’ list. 59 economies including Spain, Vietnam and Russia are on the ‘moderately free’ list.
Besides, 81 economies with scores below 70 are on the list of ‘largely unsustainable’ list. North Korea is still at the bottom of the list in terms of economic independence. The country was placed after Venezuela and Cuba.