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Economic freedom low: report

Economic freedom in Cambodia worsened over the past year, according to the latest report from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in the US.

Assembled in cooperation with the Wall Street Journal, the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom cites government corruption, a weak judicial system, land grabs, regulatory inefficiencies, a lack of labour freedoms and a government hand in markets as factors contributing to a small backstep.

Cambodia is ranked 108 out of 178 countries surveyed, with an overall score of 57.4, a 1.1-point dip from last year’s results. The Kingdom is ranked 23 out of 42 countries in the region, and its overall score falls short of the Asia-Pacific average, the authors of the report said.

The annual index ranks countries based on their regulatory and legal environment, the limit of government intervention in the economy and market openness.

Hong Kong tops the rankings with a score of 90.1, with Singapore not far behind. Myanmar was the most improved, and North Korea bottoms out the list at number 178 with a score of just 1.0.

Calls to the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Press & Quick Reaction Unit at the Council of Ministers were not returned yesterday.

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