Romania improves score in economic freedom ranking.

By bne IntelliNews January 13, 2011
Romania was rated 63rd in a 179-state ranking by the U.S.-based Heritage Foundation, with a score of 64.7 points, up by 0.5 points, the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom report showed. The country registered progress in five out of the 10 economic freedom categories. It fares well above the average in regard to the trade freedom and fiscal freedom while still facing significant problems in terms of corruption and property rights. None of these two problematic areas marked improvement from the last assessment, remaining at 38 and 40 points, respectively. The judiciary also remains inefficient and vulnerable to political interference. On a regional scale, Romania ranked 27th out of 43 European countries, i.e. 2.1 points below regions average. The report evaluated the countrys economic progress as slowing down due to the global financial turmoil. The economy passed through significant negative corrections since 2008 -- after Romanias economy has benefited substantially from its openness and flexibility over the past decade. Consequently, the fiscal slippage developed over the past years and put greater pressure on the government for fiscal restraint thus making reforms in public finance management and labour market urgent, the report noted. Other institutional challenges are identified to originate from the widespread corruption and from a rigid labour market. In this regard the report invoked Romania's ranking on 71st position out of 180 countries in Transparency Internationals Corruption Perceptions Index for 2009. Despite some improvements, corruption is still viewed by the Heritage Foundation as a serious problem.

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