Macedonia drops 8 places economic freedom index due to courts and corrupt officials

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Macedonia is ranked 41st in the 2020 global economic freedom chart prepared by Washington-based The Heritage Foundation. The Index of Economic Freedom covers 12 freedoms – from property rights to financial freedom – in 186 countries. North Macedonia’s economic freedom score is 69.5, making its economy the 41st freest in the 2020 Index and it is ranked 23rd among 45 countries in the Europe region.

“Limited judicial independence, politicization of the judicial oversight body, and inadequate funding of the judiciary are ongoing concerns. Corruption remains a serious problem, and government officials reportedly commit corrupt acts with impunity,” think tank said.

“In terms of government spending, the country heavily relies on public expenditures to finance public infrastructure projects and support social programmes. Furthermore, stronger enforcement of anti-corruption statutes is needed to encourage foreign direct investment in export-oriented industries,” it said.

Reduction of land development fees has made the construction permitting process less expensive. Labor market weaknesses caused by skills shortages and skills mismatches have been a negative pull on the economy.

Despite reforms in the investment regime, bureaucracy deters dynamic growth in new investment. The financial sector has been strengthened in recent years, and government involvement has been limited primarily to enacting prudent and efficient regulations, The Heritage Foundation noted.

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