2017 Index of Economic Freedom

Source: 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, Interactive Heat Map (The Heritage Foundation) 

On 15 February, the Heritage Foundation published its annual report entitled, 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, comparing the performance of 186 economies. One key factor influencing the conclusions and rankings is the Tax Burden parameter of the Government Size performance measurement criterion.

There is a diversity of performance among the countries in which ITIC operates.

  • Africa: Mauritius, Botswana and Rwanda rank more highly overall, while Ghana's tax effort is solid.
  • Asia-Pacific: aside from the consistently high-performing "tiger" economies and regional OECD members, many others have quite some room for improvement.
  • Eurasia: Georgia, Armenia and Kazakhstan figure in the Top 50 of the overall ranking and have continued to advance over the past year, while others such as Russia and Ukraine languish. Yet, in respect of the Tax Burden parameter, Azerbaijan outscores Armenia and Russia performs strongly.
  • MENA: the UAE, Qatar, Israel, and Bahrain score well, with Israel somewhat less so in respect of tax.

The Index and comparable reports from the IFIs are both intrinsically valuable and operationally so, since they continue to command the attention of policymakers responsible for attracting and retaining investment in ITIC’s countries of operations.