In the Index, released by the Heritage Foundation, the country’s overall score has increased by 2.9 points, primarily because of an improvement in fiscal health.
Vietnam is ranked 17th among the 40 countries in Asia Pacific, and its overall score is above the regional and world averages.
The country’s economy broke into the moderately free category this year for the first time. Its ranking could increase further if the government took additional action to liberalise investment rules and the financial sector, according to the Foundation.
Three of the top 10 finishers – Singapore (1st), Ireland (5th), and China's Taiwan (6th) – recorded score increases this year.
Launched in 1995, the Index evaluates countries in four broad policy areas that affect economic freedom: rule of law; government size; regulatory efficiency; and open markets.
There are 12 specific categories, namely property rights, judicial effectiveness, government integrity, tax burden, government spending, fiscal health, business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom. Scores in these categories are averaged to create an overall economic freedom score.