In the 2007 Index of Economic Freedom Ukraine drops 15 places
Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Moldova are again in the list of “mostly unfree” economies, according to the Heritage Foundation / Wall Street Journals ratings for 2007. The 2007 Index of Economic Freedom is published at: www.heritage.org.
According to this assessment, Ukraine has fallen from 110th to 125th place. .Russias place has not changed, while Belarus has dropped two places, from 143rd to 145th. Moldova has risen from 83rd to 81st.
The ratings are made on the basis of “10 economic freedoms”, these being: Business Freedom; Trade Freedom; Fiscal Freedom; Freedom from Government; Monetary Freedom; Investment Freedom;
Financial Freedom; Property Rights; Freedom from Corruption and Labour Freedom
With regard to Ukraine, the authors say that the country scores well in trade freedom and fiscal freedom, but point to many other problems:
“Ukraine is weaker in freedom from government, monetary freedom, investment freedom, property rights, and freedom from corruption. Inflation is high, and government expenditures equal nearly two-fifths of GDP. While foreign investment is officially welcomed, corruption and arcane regulations are de facto deterrents to capital. The judiciary, subject to pressure from both the government and organized crime, does not always enforce contracts and is tarnished with corruption. Corruption is a major problem throughout the civil service, particularly for a European nation, and the bureaucracys inefficiency makes many commercial operations difficult.”
Despite the inaccuracy regarding the present coalition, it is worth quoting the following:
“Promises of market openness and economic reform after Ukraines 2004 "Orange Revolution" have fallen short, and April 2006 elections produced a weak coalition led by the pro-reform "Our Ukraine" party and the more populist Tymoshenko Bloc. Prominent sectors of the economy include services, mining, metals, and manufacturing. Ukraine has benefited heavily from recent price increases for metal and ore. Despite lucrative opportunities for foreign direct investment, economic progress in the near term may be slowed by persistent corruption, steadily increasing gas prices, deteriorating infrastructure, and political deadlock.”
In speaking of Russia, the authors point to high levels of fiscal, labour and business freedom, but point to “significant weaknesses in monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights and freedom from corruption”.