- Friday, February 17, 2017 10:20 AM
Washington, 17 February 2017 (MIA) - Ambassador Terry Miller, one of the co-authors of the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom, said that he is impressed by the progress Macedonia has achieved in the report, despite the political crisis. The latest report ranks Macedonia as a largely free economy and as number 31 in the world, an improvement of 16 places compared to the previous report.
"This is a difficult time for Macedonia considering improving the economic freedom, when you have a political turmoil and also a refugee crisis on the border. But I'm truly impressed by the good work done by the Government and the people. The report on economic freedoms in Macedonia is really phenomenal in the past years, we've seen an improvement of 10 points on our index scale. That is an incredible result. I'm very hopeful that in the future, as soon as the political crisis is resolved, and I have no doubt it will, you will continue moving forward and achieving progress", Miller said in an interview with the Macedonian Television.
The report has Macedonia ranked as by far the most economically free country in the region and 18th in Europe. Countries are ranked by their tax regimes, debt and Government spending levels or overall size of Government, openness to trade and respect for property rights and the rule of law. Macedonia has advanced across the spectrum, receiving best grades for its low and flat tax rate as well as for the low debt - at 38 percent of GDP.
Ambassador Miller told the Macedonian Television that improvements have also come from the way the index measures corruption and the rule of law criteria, as well as from the solid fiscal health and the ability to put deficits under control. This allowed Macedonia to reach levels of economic freedom en par with Austria, Finland or the Czech Republic.
Miller is expected to visit Macedonia soon and to see first hand the regulatory and tax reforms that are outlined in the report. He added that it is a welcome improvement that Macedonia was able to bring in automotive companies that are diversifying our exports and that future steps should include continued structural reforms and keeping corruption and bureaucracy in check. Naturally, Miller added, the political crisis should be put to bed with the creation of a Government.cc/10:19
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