WASHINGTON Canada ranks as one of the freest countries in the world in which to do business.
The U.S.-based Heritage Foundation, in partnership with the Wall Street Journal, ranked Canada as the 6th best country in the world on its 2015 Index of Economic Freedom. The United States ranked 12th.
“Canada remains one of the worlds most stable business climates and an attractive investment destination,” the Heritage Foundation reported last month. “With the worlds second-best property rights regime buttressing openness to global commerce, Canada has a solid foundation of economic freedom. The financial sector is competitive, and its efficiency is supported by prudent lending practices and sound oversight.”
The Heritage Foundation also notes: “Canadas robust economic freedom rests on a judicial system with an impeccable record of independence and transparency. The government prosecutes corruption vigorously.”
Countries are rated in 10 areas, including business freedom, government spending, property rights, and freedom from corruption.
From the point of economics, if youre not living in war or chaos, it is a good time be alive. “Today, we live in the most prosperous time in human history,” the Heritage Foundation notes. “Poverty, sickness, and ignorance are receding throughout the world, due in large part to the advance of economic freedom, prosperity, and opportunity.”
The foundation calls economic freedom a fundamental right of every human being to control his or her own labour and property. “In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please. In economically free societies, governments allow labour, capital, and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself.”
Hong Kong is the worlds best place to do business for numerous reasons. It has a small, limited government with a budget surplus, low taxes and light regulation. The standard tax rate is 15 per cent. The top corporate rate is 16.5 per cent. Hong Kong became part of China in 1997 under the “one country, two systems” agreement.
Top 10 economically free countries
1. Hong Kong
3. New Zealand
Least economically free countries
173. Equatorial Guinea
178. North Korea