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Economic Freedom: Colombia Advances

Venezuela's economy is more repressed than that of Iran, while Chile's is freer than those of Germany and the UK.



Colombia was among the countries worldwide that made most progress in economic freedom, while Ecuador was among the global losers, according to the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom from the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.


Colombia had the world’s 10-best improvement in its score, while Ecuador had the 9th-worst decline.


The index ranks 117 countries according to 10 categories that evaluate economic openness, competitiveness and the rule of law.

“Led by Colombia's 2.5-point gain, [Latin America] continued to improve across the board,” the Heritage Foundation says.

Overall, 25 of its 29 countries recorded gains in economic freedom; and only three declined. Also
Costa Rica and even Haiti registered significant improvement in 2010.

“Overall, the region continues to become more open to trade and investment and to address regulatory reform,” the foundation says. “But weakness in intellectual property, the courts and the rule of law keep most countries in the region mired in or slightly below the middle of the pack.”

Chile continues to rank as the freest economy in Latin America. Its economy is freer than countries like the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Uruguay has the second-freest economy, with El Salvador and Peru close behind.

On the opposite end is Cuba, with the most repressed economy in Latin America, with Venezuela closely behind.  The two countries have the world’s third and fifth most repressed economies, according to the index. Their economies are more repressed than countries like Libya and Iran.

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