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Economic freedom in Kyrgyz Republic dropped to 16 positions; it ranked 88 overall

The Kyrgyz Republic is ranked 88 out of 144 countries included in the Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report, released today by CAFMI. Last year, Kyrgyz Republic ranked 72.

Wide nationalization activities after the April revolution and political instability are main factors of Kyrgyzstan's poor positions in the Economic Freedom Report, - said Esen Dzhumanov, CAFMI’s policy analyst.

Kyrgyz Republic scores in key components of economic freedom (from 1 to 10 where a higher value indicates a higher level of economic freedom):

- Size of government: changed to 7.36 from 8.07 in the last year’s report;

- Legal system and property rights: changed to 4.39 from 4.54;

- Access to sound money: changed to 8.14 from 8.20;

- Freedom to trade internationally: changed to 6.92 from 6.33;

- Regulation of credit, labour and business: changed to 6.61 from 7.30.

Mr. Dzhumanov says that Kyrgyzstan has got the lowest positions in two categories: Property Rights and Freedom to Trade Internationally. April lootings in 2010, nationalization campaign by the provisionary government and border closures caused the decline in the Index.

Globally, the average economic freedom score rose slightly to 6.83 in 2010, the most recent year available, after plummeting to its lowest level in nearly three decades with a score of 6.79 in 2009. But the slight increase in this year’s worldwide economic freedom score is encouraging. Impressively, all five continents are represented in the global top 10.

Hong Kong again topped the rankings of 144 countries, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Australia and Canada tied for fifth overall. The United States, long considered a champion of economic freedom among large industrial nations, continues its protracted decline in the global rankings. This year, the U.S. plunged to its lowest-ever ranking of 18th, down from 10th in 2008 and second overall in 2002, which is a result of higher government spending and borrowings.

Research shows that people living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, higher levels of political and civil liberties, and longer life expectancies, - said Mirsuljan Namazaliev, CAFMI’s Managing Director. Sadly, the bottom-ranked countries offer a significantly lower quality of life, reduced prosperity, and limited opportunities for growth.

The annual peer-reviewed Economic Freedom of the World report is produced by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank. CAFMI, Economic Policy Institute, Tajikistan Free Market Centre and the Institute for Development and Economic Affairs are main partners in the region.

The report notes that among the highest-ranked countries, the average income of the poorest 10 per cent of people was $11,382 (in 2010 current international dollars), compared to only $1,209 for those living in the least economically free countries. On average, the poorest 10 per cent of people in the freest nations are nearly twice as rich as the average population of the least free countries.

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