Malaysia has ranked 59th out of 179 countries in the latest Index of Economic Freedom report by the US-based Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal. While this is not particularly high on the surface, it remains above the worldwide average and 9th out of 41 countries in the Asia Pacific region. Recent economic reforms saw Malaysia improve in four of the 10 economic freedoms defined in the report, and increase its overall score by 0.2 points for a total of 64.8. Its highest ranking was 84.3 for fiscal freedom and lowest was 30.0 for investment freedom. The report singled out Malaysia’s labor and tax policies for praise, and noted that the local finance industry had weathered the Global Financial Crisis well.

Top ranked in both the world and Asia-Pacific once again were Hong Kong (89.7) Singapore (86.1) and Australia (82.6). The Heritage Foundation claims a direct correlation between countries’ rankings on the Economic Freedom Index and their per capita wealth. The full index appears on the Heritage Foundation’s site, and Wikipedia’s background on the history, critera and criticisms of the Index isĀ here.

source & article: Business Times