Six of the eight Portuguese-speaking countries recorded increases in the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, drawn up by the US Heritage Foundation, the exceptions being Brazil and Mozambique, according to the document that was published recently.
The Index of Economic Freedom takes into account legal issues (property rights and freedom from corruption), limitations imposed by governments (fiscal freedom and government spending), regulatory efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom and monetary freedom) and open markets (freedom of trade, investment freedom and financial freedom).
The first five places on the index are occupied by Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland, and the first Portuguese-speaking country to appear is Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), which received 66.4 out of 100 possible points with an improvement of 0.3 points on the previous year.
In addition to Cabo Verde, the only other Portuguese-speaking country that is classified as “moderately free” is Portugal, which appears in 64th place with 65.3 points and an improvement of 1.8 points over 2014.
The other Portuguese-speaking countries came far behind these first two, with Brazil in 118th place (56.6 points and 0.3 points down on last year), Mozambique in 125th place (54.8 points and 0.2 points down) Sao Tome and Principe in 136th place (53.3 points and 4.5 points up) and Guinea-Bissau in 145th place (52.0 points and 0.7 points up), all in the “mostly unfree” category.
In the “repressed” category is Angola in 158th place with 47.9 points and 0.2 points more, and finally, Timor Leste (East Timor) in 167th place with 45.5 points and an improvement of 2.3 points.
Although Sao Tome and Principe registered the biggest increase in the group of eight Portuguese-speaking countries, the result was still below the world average and was ranked 29th among 46 countries in sub-Saharan Africa in the Heritage Foundation study in partnership with the Wall Street Journal, which analysed 186 countries, and ranked 178 of them. (macauhub/AO/BR/CV/GW/MZ/PT/ST/TL)