According to the Fraser Institute’s latest Economic Freedom of the World report, the Bahamas has by far the freest economy in the Caribbean.
Copping the 40th spot worldwide, the Bahamas placed way ahead of Barbados, the next-highest-ranked Caribbean country, which came in at 73rd, closely followed by Trinidad and Tobago, which bagged the 76th slot.
The Bahamas position was boosted by a ranking of 12 worldwide for size of government; fifth worldwide for regulation, and second for labour market regulations.
The Economic Freedom of the World report examines a series of criteria, including the size of government, legal system and property rights, sound money, the freedom to trade internationally and regulation.
The Fraser Institute study, which has been published annually since 1996, looks at “the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom.”
Jamaica, ranked fourth in the Caribbean, is listed at 79th in the world, while Belize followed, taking the 88th spot worldwide.
Haiti placed 97th, ahead of Egypt, and Guyana was ranked 114th, just ahead of Benin, completing the listed Caribbean nations in the report.
Several Caribbean countries were not included in the rankings, which were based on data through 2010.
Hong Kong topped the list as the world’s leader in economic freedom, followed by Singapore and New Zealand. The United States was ranked 18th