SAMOA RANKED ‘FREEST’ OF PACIFIC ECONOMIES

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SAMOA RANKED ‘FREEST’ OF PACIFIC ECONOMIES Solomons, Kiribati trail in Wall Street Journal index

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 14, 2011) – The 2011 Wall Street Journal-Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom has put Samoa highest among Pacific Island countries.

Samoa is 84th among the 179 countries listed, with Fiji two places behind in 86th place.

Vanuatu and Tonga make the top 120 countries, while Solomon Islands and Kiribati are in the bottom quarter.

[PIR editor’s note: The Heritage Foundation is a conservative American think tank based in Washington, D.C.. The foundation defines its Index of Economic Freedom Economic Freedom as "the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state. In economically free societies, governments allow labor, capital and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself." See the organization’s 2011 world rankings here. ]

The report says Samoa’s weaknesses include a small, underdeveloped financial sector, which does not supply adequate financing for entrepreneurial activity, and significant barriers to foreign investment.

It says in Fiji corruption and the weak rule of law undermine productivity, and financial freedom has deteriorated as a result of continuing state interference.

The index is head by Hong Kong, followed by Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.

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