Vietnam Improves Economic Freedom, According to U.S. Think Tank

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Feb. 1 – Vietnam moved up five places to rank 139 of 179 in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom prepared by U.S.-based think tank Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. The country ranked 144th last year.

The Heritage Foundation said Vietnam’s economic freedom score was 51.6 out of 100 in the 2011 Index, up 1.8 points from last year.

The higher score reflects gains in monetary freedom and business freedom, the institute said.

However, its overall score remains below the world average of 59.7. Out of 41 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, Vietnam ranks 30.

The Heritage Foundation said Vietnam has been transforming itself into a more market-oriented economy as reforms including partial privatization of state-owned enterprises, liberalization of the trade regime, and increasing recognition of private property rights have occurred.

Despite the difficult global economic environment, Vietnam has flagged annual growth rates averaging about 7 percent over the past five years.

Vietnam’s overall economic freedom, however, is limited by several institutional elements, the institute said.

It went on to say that improvements in the regulatory environment, bureaucracy, legal system, judiciary, and anti-corruption practices remain necessary.