BUSINESS SHORTS

Slovakia ranks 40th in global economic freedom

SLOVAKIA had the 40th freest economy in the world in 2006, said the economic freedom index published annually by the US Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal.

The Bratislava-based F.A. Hayek Foundation, one of the project's Slovak partners, reported that economic freedom in Slovakia is 68 percent of the EU average.

The evaluation recognised Slovakia's high level of freedom in the areas of business, investment, and trade. On the other hand, the country was criticized for its shaky judicial system, weak law enforcement and high level of corruption.

The Czech Republic was the only Central European country that ranked higher than Slovakia, taking the 39th place.

Out of the 157 countries evaluated, Hong Kong, followed by Singapore and Australia were rated the highest.

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