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January 21, 2014
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Jamaica ranked fifth in economic freedom
Jamaica has been ranked fifth in terms of economic freedom among Caribbean countries.

The respected Washington-based think tank, the Heritage Foundation in the United States, in partnership with The Wall Street Journal, said Jamaica is ranked 10th overall in the Americas and 56th globally.

According to the index, which was published last week, Jamaica is the fifth economically free English-speaking Caribbean country, behind St Lucia, The Bahamas, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines, which have been placed at numbers 33, 36, 45, and 52, respectively. The Caribbean states, including Dominica at position 63 and Trinidad and Tobago at 73, were all described as moderately free economies.

Hong Kong is considered the most economically free state, according to the index.

The publication's authors say Jamaica maintained an economic freedom score of 66.7, which remained unchanged from last year because of combined improvements in five of the 10 economic freedoms, including labour freedom and the control of government spending. But these gains were offset by declines in financial freedom and fiscal freedom.

Jamaica's economic freedom score advanced by 2.3 points in the 20-year history of the index. Regulatory efficiency, measured through business freedom, labour freedom, and monetary freedom, improved over the review period, according to the publication, and both trade freedom and invest-ment freedom have recorded double-digit improvements.

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