Capitalism is thriving in many parts of the world, with the list of the top 10 countries showing some surprising results.
These countries generally believe that hard work alone can create opportunity and the economic freedom provided empowers people to work, produce, consume, own, trade and invest according to their personal choices.
The Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) annual survey by the Fraser Institute has the following 2016 index rankings.
1. Hong Kong
The implementation of prudent economic policy within a stable and transparent legal environment has been the cornerstone of Hong Kong’s continuing achievement in maintaining the world’s freest economy.
Well-secured property rights ensure vibrant commercial interactions and entrepreneurial growth.
With a high level of market openness and fiscal discipline, Hong Kong continues to be a leading global business and financial hub.
Raking second in the world, Singapore’s economic growth has slowed but the city’s openness to global trade and investment continues to provide a solid basis for economic dynamism.
A transparent regulatory environment, buttressed by well-secured property rights, provides commercial security for the innovative and resilient private sector.
3. New Zealand
New Zealand’s modern and competitive economy benefits from a strong commitment to open-market policies that facilitate vibrant flows of trade and investment.
Transparent and efficient regulations are applied evenly in most cases, encouraging dynamic entrepreneurial activity in the private sector.
Financial markets, although relatively small, provide adequate access to financial resources.
The Swiss economy benefits from high levels of flexibility and institutional strengths that include strong protection of property rights and minimum tolerance for corruption.
An independent and corruption-free judiciary enforces contracts effectively.
Openness to global trade and investment has enabled Switzerland to become one the world’s most competitive and innovative economies.
Australia, a vibrant free-market democracy, has recorded impressive economic progress without undergoing a single recession for almost 25 years.
In addition to its abundant natural resources, the economy has benefited from lasting entrepreneurial development facilitated by an effective system of government, a well-functioning legal system, and an independent bureaucracy.
Canada’s economic fundamentals remain strong, well supported by solid protection of property rights and an independent judiciary that enforces the rule of law effectively.
The country’s commitment to open-market policies that facilitate global trade and investment flows has been strong, and the economy has demonstrated admirable resilience in the face of recent years’ international and domestic challenges.
Several notable measures undertaken in recent years threaten Chile’s well-established tradition of economic freedom.
Along with the introduction of redistributive tax measures, the corporate tax rate has been raised and is slated to rise further.
Labor reforms have focused on increasing the minimum wage and strengthening union bargaining.
The Irish economy has made impressive progress over the past three years.
Undertaking politically difficult reform measures, including sharp cuts in public-sector wages and restructuring of the banking sector, Ireland has regained its fiscal health and become the first country to exit a European Union bailout.
Its economy is now one of the fastest-growing in the eurozone.
The Estonian economy continues to benefit from the government’s strong commitment to economic freedom.
The rule of law is enforced by an independent judicial system.
A simplified tax system, dependable regulatory efficiency, and dynamic engagement with global commerce support the resilient and well-functioning economy.
10. United Kingdom
Economic freedom has been on an upward path in the United Kingdom over the past five years.
Defying the eurozone crisis and regional uncertainty, the economy has demonstrated relatively high resilience.
Disciplined fiscal adjustments have helped to restore economic dynamism, steadily reducing the budget deficit.
The corporate tax has been cut from 28 percent to 20 percent.