Vietnam’s economic freedom score has reached 61.7, making its economy the 90th freest in the 2021 Index of Economic Freedom recently announced by the American conservative think tank Heritage Foundation.
The Southeast Asian country ranks 17th among 40 countries in the Asia–Pacific region.
Its overall score is above the regional and world averages and has increased 2.9 points from 2020, primarily because of an improvement in fiscal health, according to the index.
The higher score elevated Vietnam’s economy by 15 places from last year and helped it break into the moderately free category for the first time.
The Heritage Foundation assessed that Vietnam’s ranking could increase further if the government took additional action to liberalize investment rules and the financial sector.
Singapore again was named the world's freest economy in this year's index, with a score of 89.7, up from 89.4 last year.
New Zealand and Australia make the top three, with overall scores of 83.9 and 82.4, respectively.
Launched in 1995, the Index of Economic Freedom evaluates 184 countries in four broad policy areas that affect economic freedom, namely rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency, and open markets.
There are 12 specific categories, including property rights, judicial effectiveness, government integrity, tax burden, government spending, fiscal health, business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom.
Scores in these categories are averaged to create an overall economic freedom score.