Freedom

 

Economic freedom is freedom to produce, trade and consume any goods and services acquired without the use of force, fraud or theft. Economic freedom is embodied in the rule of law, property rights and freedom of contract, and characterized by external and internal openness of the markets, the protection of property rights and freedom of economic initiative. It is usually associated with a free market system. Numerous empirical studies have found that, among other beneficial effects, economic freedom promotes economic growth and poverty reduction. Source: Wikipedia

According to the Heritage Foundation, economic freedom is associated with higher level of per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The organisation uses the following yardsticks to determine the level of economic freedom in each country and rank them accordingly: Business Freedom | Trade Freedom | Fiscal Freedom | Government Size | Monetary Freedom | Investment Freedom | Financial Freedom | Property rights | Freedom from Corruption | Labor Freedom

As a matter of pride, Mauritius, in this new year’s Index of Economic Freedom, has been ranked 18th with 72.3% of Economic Freedom in our paradise island. Quoting from the report “Mauritius is ranked 1st out of 40 countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is well above the regional average. Mauritius is the second most improved economy in the 2008 Index.”

This can be attributed mainly these recent measures in the economic reforms started by the Government of Mauritius:

  • We have a business-friendly environment.
  • Removal of bottleneck in licensing procedures
  • Successful strategies in promoting Foreign Direct Investment
  • The judiciary, independent of politics and relatively free of corruption, is able to protect property rights exceptionally well.

I think it is laudable to mention the role of ICAC. To quote from this commission’s Director General’s Message, “We strongly advocate for a synergy of anti-corruption efforts for effective and visible changes in our society.All Mauritians should join hands and work towards a unique goal: liberate the country from the pangs of corruption.”

Monetary Freedom is 75.7% and this is mainly owing the the regulation of the monetary policy by the Bank of Mauritius (BoM). Manou Bheenick, the Governor of the BoM, in his End-of-Year Letter to stakeholders said : ” In the implementation of monetary policy, the Bank has as far as possible limited its market intervention and allowed free play of market forces “. Monetary policy of the use of interest rates and control of money supply to influence the level of economic activity in a country.

In fact Mauritius is benefiting from having a highly open economy!