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Friday, January 06, 2006

 
The Envelope, Please VIII

The 2005 Index of Economic Freedom is out. Here is the list of nations in the "free" category (score 1.0-1.99):

Hong Kong

1.28

Singapore

1.56

Ireland

1.58

Luxembourg

1.60

Iceland

1.74

United Kingdom

1.74

Estonia

1.75

Denmark

1.78

Australia

1.84

New Zealand

1.84

United States

1.84

Canada

1.85

Finland

1.85

Chile

1.88

Switzerland

1.89

Cyprus

1.90

Netherlands

1.90

Austria

1.95

Germany

1.96

Sweden

1.96



The United Kingdom now leads Estonia, due to this development described in the report on the latter (emphasis added):

Estonia adopted the trade policies of the European Union when it joined the EU in May 2004. The common EU weighted average external tariff was 1.3 percent in 2003, based on World Bank data. In the 2005 Index, based on World Bank data, Estonia had a tariff of 0.053 percent. According to the World Trade Organization and the U.S. Trade Representative, the EU imposes non-tariff trade barriers through a complex regulatory system and export subsidies. Based on its adoption of EU trade policies, and on the revised trade factor methodology, Estonia's trade policy score is 1 point worse this year.

Cyprus, Austria, and Germany move into the "free" category from "mostly free" this year.

North Korea is still dead last, with a "perfect" 5.0 score.




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