Ljubljana, 12 September (STA) - Despite slightly improving economic freedom, Slovenia has remained 67th among 162 countries in the latest Economic Freedom of the World report, compiled by the Canadian libertarian Fraser Institute.
"We have taken a few steps forward and a few steps back. The positive change relates to the shrinking of the scope of para(state) mainly through decreasing state ownership in companies," said the head of the Ljubljana-based Visio Institute, Tanja Porčnik.
A negative shift was recorded in the implementation of the rule of law, and the independence of judiciary, said Porčnik, a senior consultant at the Fraser Institute.
Slovenia scored 7.15 points out of the maximum possible 10 points to rank 67th overall.
It received 5.25 points for the scope of (para)state, to rank 138th, together with Eswatini and Rwanda.
Slovenia faired better in the legal system and ownership rights, where it scored 6.22 points, which put it in 38th place, and in international trade freedom, where it won 7.90 points and 44th place.
The country received the best score for the stability of its currency, 9.41 points, to place 24th.
Porčnik said the 2014-2018 government of Miro Cerar had not succeeded in cutting red tape. The procedure for obtaining a construction permit got even longer and the costs higher under the previous government, she noted.
The report again placed Hong Kong at the top of the ranking, at 8.91 points, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, and Switzerland as the best ranked European country. The best ranked EU country is Ireland in sixth place and 8.13 points.
Slovenia was preceded by all of its neighbouring countries; Austria ranked 26th, Italy 46th, Hungary 54th and Croatia 56th.
In the 1995-2017 period, the economic freedom improved by 0.52 points in Austria, by 0.77 points in Italy, by 1.05 points in Hungary, by 2.33 points in Croatia and by 2.05 points in Slovenia.