Belarus’s economic freedom score is 50.1, making its economy the 150th freest in the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, published by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. Its overall score is 2.1 points better than last year, mainly due to notable improvements in investment freedom and government spending. Belarus is ranked 42nd among the 43 countries in the Europe region, with Ukraine being at the bottom.
Belarus scored higher on freedom from corruption, government spending, fiscal freedom, labor freedom, trade freedom, and investment freedom and lower on business freedom and monetary freedom. The country’s score on property rights and financial freedom did not change.
Over the 20-year history of the Index, Belarus has improved its economic freedom score by 9.7 points, driven by gains in seven of the 10 economic freedoms including fiscal freedom, monetary freedom, and trade freedom. Offsetting much of the overall score gain, three other critical areas of economic freedom—property rights, investment freedom, and financial freedom—have recorded losses of 20 points or more over the same period, the report states.
In the 2014 Index, Belarus has moved up from the economic freedom status of “repressed” to “mostly unfree” for the first time, the report says. Nonetheless, pervasive state controls persist in many areas of the economy, and widespread state investment and redistribution activities have stifled progress in the development of a modern diversified economy.
www.belsat.eu/en, following Heritage Foundation