Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Iran Rated Among World's Least Free Economies

Radio Free Europe:
An influential right-wing U.S. think-tank has again rated Hong Kong and Singapore the world's freest economies. The findings come in the annual "Index of Economic Freedom" survey issued on 4 January by the right-wing Heritage Foundation.

The index ranks nearly 160 countries according to factors such as tax rates, the protection of property rights, and the level of government intervention in the economy.

At the bottom of the rankings are Iran and North Korea, with two former Soviet states -- Turkmenistan and Belarus -- also rated as "repressed."

Among other former Soviet countries, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, and Armenia are rated "mostly free," while Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, and much of Central Asia are "mostly unfree."