The Czech Republic ranked 26th on the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom list of think tank Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, with a score of 72.2, up by 1.3 point from last year. In the 2013 edition of the report the country ranked 29th. The index evaluates countries in four broad areas: rule of law, regulatory efficiency, limited government and open markets.
The Czech Republic’s higher ranking came mainly on the back of a notable improvement in half of the 10 monitored economic freedoms, including investment freedom, business freedom and freedom from corruption. Incorporating a business in the country has become less time-consuming, and licensing requirements have been eased, a report accompanying the index said. Labour regulations are relatively flexible, yet, the non-salary cost of employees can be burdensome. Regarding government spending, the report underscored that tax increases and budget cuts resulted in surpluses and government spending stabilised at 43% of the GDP. Public debt stands at 45% of the economic output. The authorities should continue to implement reforms to strengthen the independence of the judiciary and effectively fight corruption to ensure vibrant economic development in the coming years, the report read.
The Czech Republic ranked 15th out of 43 countries in Europe, and its overall score is higher than the regional and global average. In the years, the central European country has steadily moved higher on the ranking becoming one of the “mostly free” economies with a score of over 70.
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