20:19 / 07.03.2023

Uzbekistan up by 8 lines in the Index of Economic Freedom

In the Index of Economic Freedom - 2023, Uzbekistan ranked 109th among 176 countries with 56.5 points and remained in the list of countries with a non-free economy.

The Heritage Foundation Research Center has published the Economic Freedom Index 2023 report.

It is noted that Uzbekistan ranks 109th among 176 countries with 56.5 points. According to the latest report, the country’s rating improved by 0.8 points and rose by 8 positions, but it is nevertheless included in the group of countries whose economies are not free.

The index of economic freedom in the republic recorded positive changes in 7 out of 12 indicators, negative - in 5 indicators. The overall growth of the rating was influenced by a significant improvement in the situation with investment freedom (+10 points) and financial freedom (+10 points).

At the same time, the state of public spending (-3.2 points) and fiscal health (-11.3 points) worsened.

In the Economic Freedom 2023 rating, five indicators continue to decline - government spending (-3.2), property rights (-0.7), business freedom (-0.2) and the effectiveness of the judiciary (-0.1). It should be said that in the last year’s rating, these figures have deteriorated significantly.

Fiscal health and public spending are deteriorating, as evidenced by the fact that budget deficit figures confirmed over the past two years are not being met, spending hindering institutions are a formal façade, public spending is boosted by inefficient projects and ongoing bad practices, all this is reflected in the lifestyle and pockets of the general population, this is manifested in the growth of social inequality,” economist Otabek Bakirov writes. 

It is noted that Uzbekistan occupied the 23rd place among 39 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. At the same time, over the past five years, Uzbekistan has risen in this ranking by 33 positions (from 152 to 109).

“The overall rule of law in Uzbekistan is weak. The ratings for property rights, judicial efficiency and government integrity in the country are below the world average,” the report reads.

Among the CIS countries, Armenia (50th place) and Kazakhstan (71st place) have the best indicators. The following places were taken by Azerbaijan (75th place), Moldova (96th place), Kyrgyzstan (115th place), Russia (125th place), Belarus (145th place), Tajikistan (146th place) and Turkmenistan (161st place).

The first 3 places in the overall ranking were taken by Singapore (83.9 points), Switzerland (83.8 points) and Ireland (82 points), while Venezuela (25.8 points), Cuba (24.3 points) and Northern Korea (2.9 points) are at the bottom. 8 countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Liechtenstein, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen were not included in the rating for various reasons.

The report is based on the database for the period from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

The average overall economic freedom score dropped to 59.3 from 60 last year. This is the lowest figure in the last two decades.

Globally, financial stability has deteriorated significantly. Rising deficits and public debt undermined the countries’ overall economic growth.