YEREVAN (YERKIR) – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has welcomed Armenia’s ranking as the world’s 27th most economically free nation, according to a study released last week by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation.
The 2006 Index of Economic Freedom measured 157 countries across 50 independent variables divided into 10 broad factors of economic freedom – including property rights protection, regulatory environment, tax rates, fiscal policy, government intervention in the economy, monetary policy, black markets and trade policy. Each country falls into one of four categories: “free,” “mostly free,” “mostly unfree” and “repressed.” Lower scores on the Index’s five-point scale are more desirable.
With a rating of 2.26, Armenia was described as “mostly free” in the survey, and was one of the five most-improved economies over the past year. In the 2005 study, Armenia rated 2.58 and was ranked 42nd overall.
Among Armenia’s neighbors, Georgia ranked 68th with a rating of 2.98; Turkey ranked 85th, with a rating of 3.11, Iran ranked 156, with a rating of 4.51, and; Azerbaijan ranked 123rd, with a rating of 3.51. While the majority of countries improved their scores in 2006, Azerbaijan’s rating fell from 3.43 to 3.51, and its ranking dropped from 103rd to 123rd.