Malaysia’s improved ranking in the Economic Freedom of the World report, from 74th place in 2014 to 58th place this year, was a ‘big success’.
The report was released by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) along with Canada’s Fraser Institute.
Based on data from 2013, which is the most recent year available, the report measures the economic freedom of a country by analysing the institutions and policies of 157 countries and territories, reported Bernama.
Commenting on the ranking, IDEAS chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan said: “This is a snapshot from 2013 and therefore a recognition of the efforts by the government to make the private sector the engine of growth.”
“Initiatives in the Economic Transformation Programme such as divestment of government-linked companies and liberalisation of service sectors may contribute to improving our score in this index.”
Although most score indicators improved, Malaysia’s score in five sub-indicators, such as legal enforcement of contracts, declined, he said.
The indicator, which measures the judicial system’s efficiency in resolving commercial disputes, showed that the cost, time and number of procedures in the settlement process were becoming less efficient, noted Wan Saiful.
“We must push ahead with liberalisation and not give in to the temptation of increasing the government’s role in the economy because it will give a smaller space and incentive for the private sector to grow and excel,” he added.
Hong Kong posted the highest level of economic freedom worldwide, while Singapore came in second.
New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates took in the third, fourth and fifth place respectively.
Rounding off the top ten were Mauritius, Jordan, Ireland, Canada and the United Kingdom.