Thursday, January 29, 2009

2009 Index of Economic Freedom

Zimbabwe's economic freedom score is 22.7, making its economy the 178th freest in the 2009 Index. Its score decreased 6.7 points from last year, reflecting significant declines in eight of the 10 economic freedoms. Zimbabwe is ranked 46th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is much lower than the world average.
Zimbabwe scores either below or far below the world average in all 10 areas of economic freedom. The country's previously established economic infrastructure has crumbled under a tyrannical and oppressive regime. Zimbabwe's economic climate is hostile to foreign investment mainly because of the failing financial system, which suffers from repeated crises, including government intervention and resource redistribution by angry mobs. Also, the government's desire to expand its control of the economy puts many investments, including property, at risk. Hyperinflation and high national expenditures have crippled the national economy. The government has used the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to finance deficit spending and to provide direct loans to state-owned enterprises. The average tariff rate is high, and non-tariff barriers are embedded in convoluted customs requirements. Corruption and lack of transparency are likely to remain high as long as the government maintains its control of the economy.

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