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India, China still not so easy to do business: study

India and China, with overall scores of 54.4 and 53.2 (out of 100), have been ranked 123 and 132 respectively, and are tagged ‘mostly unfree’ by the annual report.

business Updated: Jan 14, 2009 21:13 IST
HT Correspondent

Asian economic giants, India and China, despite being touted as the growth engines of the world, lag behind other Asian counterparts such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand which rank in the world’s top 10 freest economies, as per the 2009 edition of the ‘Index of Economic Freedom’, published by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation.

India and China, with overall scores of 54.4 and 53.2 (out of 100), have been ranked 123 and 132 respectively, and are tagged ‘mostly unfree’ by the annual report. The 2009 Index of Economic Freedom, covering 183 countries, measured 10 components of economic freedom for each of these countries. These components are business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government size, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption and labour freedom.

India scored better in government size, fiscal freedom, monetary freedom and labour freedom than other freedoms, with scores of 77.8, 73.8, 69.3 and 62.3 (out of 100) respectively, while China’s impressive scores pertained to government size, monetary freedom and trade freedom with scores of 88.9, 72.9 and 71.4 (out of 100), respectively.

The Asian continent clearly has fared better than other continents, with Hong Kong at an overall score of 90 and scores of over 90 in seven of the ten assessed freedoms. The Asian country held on to its numero uno position for the 15th consecutive year now.

The highlights of the 2009 index further suggest that economic freedom advanced for all the countries included in last year’s index from an average score of 60.2 to an average score of 60.3.

The Index of Economic Freedom is an important measure for every country as ‘there are clear relationships between economic freedom and numerous other positive economic and social indicators, the most prominent being the strong relationship between the level of economic freedom and the level of prosperity in a given country’, according to the executive summary of the index.