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Taiwan remains fourth position in global economic freedom index

By Sophia Yeh and Wu Kuan-hsien

TAIPEI, Taiwan, (CNA) – Taiwan ranked fourth in the 2024 Index of Economic Freedom, maintaining its best ranking achieved in 2023, according to the annual report released in February by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation. In the foundation’s 30th report, 184 countries were assessed on four key aspects comprising 12 subfactors. These were then equally weighted and averaged to produce an overall score, the report said.

The four main aspects are rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency and market openness. The report noted Taiwan’s performance in regulatory efficiency, scoring 84.9, 69.1 and 80.1 in the subfactors for business freedom, labor freedom and monetary freedom, exceeding the global average scores of 62.3, 56.1 and 67.6.

Taiwan scored higher than the global average in all 12 subcategories.

With its overall score of 80, Taiwan’s economy is categorized as “free” along with the top three scorers: Singapore, Switzerland and Ireland, which scored 83.5, 83 and 82.6, respectively.

However, although Taiwan maintained its ranking, the country’s overall score fell from 80.7 in the 2023 index.

The main contributor to the decrease was the government integrity subfactor, which is related to government corruption, with the score dropping from 94.7 to 73.4.

Other subfactors in which Taiwan saw clear declines were fiscal health which fell from 93.6 to 90.3 and monetary freedom from 82.5 to 80.1.

Elsewhere in the world, South Korea and Japan had overall scores of 73.1 and 67.5, ranking 14th and 38th respectively. China scored 48.5 and ranked 151st.

On Monday, foundation president Kevin Roberts and founder Edwin Feulner met separately with Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and president-elect and vice president Lai Ching-te (賴清德) at the Presidential Office.

Tsai expressed gratitude to the foundation, saying that the report showed Taiwan’s economic development is moving in the right direction.

Lai also thanked the foundation for its steadfast support of Taiwan and pledged to guard the country’s peaceful status quo as president-elect.

Roberts congratulated Lai for his win in the presidential election, expressing high expectations of his leadership.

He also congratulated Taiwan for its performance in the report and lauded Tsai’s leadership and policies which contributed to the outcome.



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