The Fraser Institute, Canada’s top think-tank, has released it’s Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report and it shows that the Montenegrin government has made progress in ensuring the economic freedom of it’s citizens.
The Global Go-To Think-Tank Index, a global survey of almost fifteen hundred scholars, policy makers, and journalists, lists the Fraser Institute number one among ninety-seven think-tanks in Canada. It also lists the institute as one of the top twenty-five think-tanks in the world.
The 2012 report is based upon 2010 data, so it does not take into account more recent reforms implemented by the Montenegrin government. The report shows steady improvement for Montenegro, starting with a score of 6.71 in 2005, improving to 7.52 in 2009, and improving again to 7.54 in 2010. Many other nations improved faster than Montenegro in the 2012 report, so even though we improved, our overall ranking fell from #25 to #28.
Montenegro’s 7.54 ranking leads the pack of ex-Yugoslavian nations: Macedonia (6.94), Croatia (6.76), Slovenia (6.63), Bosnia and Herzegovenia (6.61), and Serbia (6.41).
Our weakest area in the rankings this year was “Licensing restrictions” for businesses. Every piece of bureaucracy required to do business is another roadblock on the road to national prosperity. Our current rank of 3.90 could be improved by destroying more legacy paperwork requirements on free enterprise. These restrictions hurt startups most, and small business startups are needed to accelerate growth in our economy.
“Government enterprises and investment” is another weak area for us. We rank only 4.00 in that area, due to difficulties negotiating mutually beneficial deals with respectable and legitimate buyers for legacy state-owned industries.