5 March 2018

Africa: Index of Economic Freedom - Mauritius Maintains Its First Position in Sub-Saharan Africa

Photo: L'Express Maurice
(File photo).
press release

Mauritius has maintained its first position as a "mostly free" economy in Sub-Saharan Africa and has been ranked 21st out of 180 countries with a score of 75,1 in the 24th Index of Economic Freedom published by the Heritage Foundation. The country has recorded an increase of 0,4 points with improvements in scores for government integrity and property rights indicators.

The Heritage Foundation has rated Mauritius for its efficient and transparent regulatory environment which supports relatively broad-based economic development, and its competitive tax rates, prudent banking practices and a fairly flexible labour code which facilitates private-sector growth. According to the 2018 Index, in Sub-Saharan Africa most of the 47 graded nations are "mostly unfree", and more than half of the world's "repressed" economies, 12 out of 21, are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Index of Economic Freedom launched in 1995 studies economies throughout the world and provides in-depth analysis of each country's political and economic developments. The Index groups the world's countries into five regions: America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East/North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

It measures economic freedom on 12 quantitative and qualitative factors, grouped into four broad categories:Rule of Law (property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness); Government Size (government spending, tax burden, fiscal health); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). The Index measures the scores on a scale of 100 points classified as "free" ( combined scores of 80 or higher); "mostly free" (70-79.9); "moderately free" (60-69.9); "mostly unfree" (50-59.9); or "repressed" (under 50).

Among the 180 countries ranked, scores improved for 102 countries and declined for 75. According to the Index, Hong Kong and Singapore each logged increases in their Index scores, finishing first and second in the rankings for the 24th consecutive year. Three other frequent top finishers, New Zealand 3rd globally, Switzerland 4th and the United Kingdom 8th also witnessed a rise in their scores.

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