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ghemminger
03-15-2008, 11:03 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_freedom

Indices of Economic Freedom
Main article: Indices of Economic Freedom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indices_of_Economic_Freedom)

Map of countries by 2006 Economic Freedom of the World, published by the Fraser Institute (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraser_Institute).


The annual surveys Economic Freedom of the World and Index of Economic Freedom are two indices which attempt to measure the degree of economic freedom, using a definition for this similar to laissez-faire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laissez-faire) capitalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism), in the world's nations. These surveys have shown that economic freedom correlates strongly with higher average income per person, higher income of the poorest 10%, higher life expectancy, higher literacy, lower infant mortality, higher access to water sources and less corruption.[20] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_freedom#_note-19) The people living in the top one-fifth of the most free countries enjoy an average income of $23,450 and a growth rate in the 1990s of 2.56 percent per year; in contrast, the bottom one-fifth in the rankings had an average income of just $2,556 and a -0.85 percent growth rate in the 1990s. The poorest 10 percent of the population have an average income of just $728 in the least economically free countries compared with over $7,000 in the freest countries. The life expectancy of people living in the freest nations is 20 years longer than for people in the least free countries.[21] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_freedom#_note-20) According to the Economic Freedom of the World 2005, the world economic freedom score has grown considerably in recent decades. The average score has increased from 5.17 in 1985 to 6.4 in 2005. Of the nations in 1985, 95 nations increased their score, seven saw a decline, and six were unchanged.
Worldwide index of economic freedom 2008 - top and bottom 15 rankings
published by The Wall Street Journal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wall_Street_Journal) and the Heritage Foundation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritage_Foundation)[22] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_freedom#_note-21)RankCountryFreedom %1 Hong Kong (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong)90.32 Singapore (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore)87.43 Ireland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Ireland)82.44 Australia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia)82.05 United States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States)80.66 New Zealand (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand)80.27 Canada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada)80.28 Chile (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chile)79.89 Switzerland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland)79.710 United Kingdom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom)79.511 Denmark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark)79.212 Estonia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonia)77.813 Netherlands (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands)76.814 Iceland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland)76.515 Luxembourg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxembourg)75.2RankCountryFreedom %143 Angola (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angola)47.1144 Syria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syria)46.6145 Burundi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burundi)46.3146 Republic of the Congo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_the_Congo)45.2147 Guinea-Bissau (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guinea-Bissau)45.1148 Venezuela (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuela)45.0149 Bangladesh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh)44.9150 Belarus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belarus)44.7151 Iran (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran)44.0152 Turkmenistan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkmenistan)43.4153 Myanmar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma)39.5154 Libya (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libya)38.7155 Zimbabwe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimbabwe)29.8156 Cuba (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba)27.5157 North Korea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea)3.0

ghemminger
03-15-2008, 11:29 PM
http://www.emailwire.com/release/11763-Hong-Kong-improves-on-previous-ranking-but-Singapore-still-the-best-place-for-Asians-to-live-says-ECA-International.html


Hong Kong improves on previous ranking but Singapore still the best place for Asians to live, says ECA International

Air pollution continues to let Hong Kong down, Baghdad remains the least desirable place to live


(EMAILWIRE.COM, March 04, 2008 ) HONG KONG - Hong Kong has improved on last year's ranking but Singapore maintains the highest quality of life in the world for Asian assignees, according to the latest Location Ranking Survey on expatriate living conditions by ECA International, the world’s largest membership organization for international human resources professionals.

Undertaken annually, ECA International’s Location Ranking Survey compares living standards in 254 locations globally according to categories including climate, air quality, health services, housing and utilities, isolation, social network and leisure facilities, infrastructure, personal safety and political tensions. Overall scores are used by ECA Member companies to establish allowances which compensate expatriate staff for the difficulties of living in their assignment location.

“High quality infrastructure and health facilities, combined with low health risks, air pollution, crime rates and a cosmopolitan population make Singapore a very appealing location for Asians to live. Although we did see a small deterioration in some factors, such as air quality and accommodation, in 2007, it still retains the status of a location with the best quality of living for assignees in Asia," explained Lee Quane, General Manager of ECA International in Hong Kong.

"While Hong Kong has seen an improvement in some categories, such as personal security, air pollution remains the biggest cause for its inferior position to that of Singapore in our ranking," he said.

The Japanese cities of Kobe and Yokohama are the only other Asian destinations in the top 10, ranked third and eighth respectively. Joining them in the top 10 destinations for Asian expatriates are Sydney, Melbourne, Copenhagen, Canberra, Vancouver, Wellington and Dublin.

Globally, Baghdad remains the least favourable location to live, followed by Kabul, Karachi and Port-au-Prince. Risk to personal security and the lack of suitable facilities for expatriates makes these locations the least desirable.

“These locations have been ranked against an Asian base. Since quality of living is relative to where someone comes from and where they are going, our scores take into account the home and destination country. Rankings, therefore, vary according to the base used," added Quane.

Therefore, while Singapore is top for Asians, it comes in at only 53 for Western Europeans. “Although still a great place to come to, distance from home, differences in culture, language and climate all make it relatively harder for a European to live here than Copenhagen, for example, which tops the rankings for Europeans," explained Quane.

Asia
Looking at the 49 Asian locations included in the survey, the next best places to reside are Hong Kong and Tokyo, both in 15th position in the world ranking, followed by Taipei (57), Macau (59), Bangkok (60) and the Malaysian cities of Georgetown and Kuala Lumpur, both ranked 63. Georgetown has seen the biggest improvement in scores of all the Asian cities, reflected in an 11 place rise in the ranking, due to improvements in recreation, housing and personal security situations. Other locations in Asia which witnessed a noteworthy rise in the ranking are Hong Kong (8 places), Phnom Penh and Seoul (both by 7 places).

Hong Kong’s move up the rankings this year can be attributed to improved personal security scores along with the movements of locations around it in the ranking. “Hong Kong’s rise, combined with the fact that Singapore saw a slight deterioration in certain criteria, has narrowed the gap in quality of living between these two locations”, adds Quane.

Shanghai (78) tops the list of Chinese locations in the survey, while Xi’an
(166) is China’s least favourable location in the survey. Beijing, at 112th position, comes lower than second-tier cities such as Nanjing (89) and Tianjin (110), due principally to less favourable air quality and personal security.

“The availability of consumer goods continues to improve, with the greatest relative improvement seen in China’s second tier cities,” explained Quane.
“However, despite showing a general trend towards improvement in recent years, many of these cities still suffer from poor infrastructure, poor healthcare facilities and a lack of education facilities for children of international assignees. Prevailing high levels of air pollution and issues regarding food safety also impact on the attractiveness of China’s cities to international assignees.”

Of the Indian locations included in the survey, Chennai (138) scores the most favourably ahead of Bangalore (153), Mumbai (156), New Delhi (169) and Kolkata (193).

“There are still only five Asian locations in the top 50 globally, nevertheless across Asia, we are slowly seeing improvements in a number of areas. These can broadly be attributed to an improved standard of living resulting from recent consistent economic growth in the major Asian economies," said Quane.

"With continued improvement in the quality of living, the allowances that we recommend our clients pay to their assignees to relocate to Asian locations will continue to reduce, although it will still be a while before we suggest removing allowances completely for many Asian locations, as infrastructure, healthcare facilities, and pollution levels are generally worse than in many locations ranked in our top 50 worldwide," he added.

Kabul (253), Karachi (252) and Pyongyang (248) are the locations in Asia which afford Asians the least favourable quality of living. Asian locations which fell furthest in the ranking in the last year include Yangon (24 places), Colombo (15 places) and Kathmandu (12 places), due mainly to a deterioration in social-political situations in these locations in 2007.

Globally
European locations dominate the top of the ranking. East European locations have witnessed some of the most significant improvements in this year’s survey, with notable advances seen in personal security, housing and health. Bratislava and Bucharest have made some of the survey’s biggest improvements in scores, reflected in their 20 and 14 place rises respectively in the ranking.

Many of the lowest scoring cities are in Africa. Dakar in Senegal has dropped the most in the survey – down 30 places to 196 due partly to deterioration in personal security, pollution levels and healthcare. Along with Dakar, Khartoum (Sudan) and Bamako (Mali) have seen the biggest drop in scores.

For Asians thinking of heading to the Americas, Vancouver remains the most favourable location in the region, indicated by its 7th place in the ranking. The Canadian city is followed by San Francisco (11), Washington
(23) and Toronto (35). Port-au-Prince, ranked 251 is the least desirable place in the region to live as an Asian expatriate. Security concerns remain a major issue in South America. A growing issue too is pollution, with air quality deteriorating in Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina. Santiago in Chile still receives the worst score for pollution in South America, with poor air quality a serious threat to the health of residents.

In the Middle East, Manama (63), Dubai (71) and Muscat (72) are the most favourable destinations. On average the region scores badly for socio-political tensions. While some locations in the region, such as Baghdad, are amongst the survey’s worst scorers for personal security, others, such as Doha, score highly in this category.

About ECA International
ECA International is the world’s largest membership organisation for international human resources professionals, serving a global network of over 4000 HR professionals in 71 countries.

The leading provider of online data, software solutions and advice for more than 1500 international companies, ECA’s innovative approach has been providing cost-effective solutions to international HR management since 1971. For more information, please visit www.eca-international.com. (http://www.eca-international.com./)

About ECA’s Location Ranking Survey
The Location Ranking Survey is carried out on an annual basis. The survey objectively evaluates various factors in order to arrive at an assessment of the quality of living in over 300 locations worldwide. The scores take into account the home and destination country, therefore rankings will vary according to the base used to compare the quality of living. For comparison purposes the rankings used here are for 254 locations worldwide on an Asian base. A location’s position in the ranking can be affected by deterioration or improvement in scores as well as by the movement of other locations relative to it.

ECA‘s Location Ranking data is delivered through ECAAdapt, part of its Assign suite of HR information tools. ECAAdapt offers a transparent and detailed system for calculating location or “hardship” allowances for expatriates relocating to a new country.

ECAAdapt allows users to select region-to-city allowances or city-to-city allowances, so that depending on a company’s policy the system reflects the level of detail required. ECA’s system provides an immediate “banding” for the host location, based in part on the circumstances of the home location.
With the banding come ECA’s recommended allowances, expressed as a percentage of home gross salary.

ECAAdapt also gives breakdowns of the scoring given to a number of different categories contributing to the overall score which translates to banding and allowances. Categories include climate, health services, isolation, social network and leisure facilities, infrastructure and political tensions.


Contact information:

Lee Quane
ECA International
Tel: <FONT color=#333333><FONT face=Tahoma>

ghemminger
03-15-2008, 11:34 PM
http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/

Economy (http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/?direction=Asc&sort=0)Ease of Doing Business Rank (http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/?direction=Desc&sort=1)Starting a Business (http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/?direction=Asc&sort=2)Dealing with Licenses (http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/?direction=Asc&sort=3)Employing Workers (http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/?direction=Asc&sort=4)Registering Property (http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/?direction=Asc&sort=5)Getting Credit (http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/?direction=Asc&sort=6)Protecting Investors (http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/?direction=Asc&sort=7)Paying Taxes (http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/?direction=Asc&sort=8)Trading Across Borders (http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/?direction=Asc&sort=9)Enforcing Contracts (http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/?direction=Asc&sort=10)Closing a Business (http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/?direction=Asc&sort=11)Singapore (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=167)195113722142New Zealand (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=140)232131319161316United States (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=197)3424110757615818Hong Kong, China (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=43)4136023582333115Denmark (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=56)518610391319132307United Kingdom (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=196)665421191912272410Canada (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=35)72261928752539434Ireland (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=93)8520377975620396Australia (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=12)915282735141341114Iceland (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=88)10142342813642711412Norway (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=145)112855946361516493Japan (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=98)1244321748131210518211Finland (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=69)13163912717265183575Sweden (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=181)142217107736514265319Thailand (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=186)1536124920363389502644Switzerland (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=182)16352920122615815372533Estonia (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=65)1720141562148333172950Georgia (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=74)18101141148331026442105Belgium (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=20)1919373616148126548229Germany (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=75)2071161374738367101529Netherlands 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(http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=70)311217144159366482251432Slovakia (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=168)327250755798122905036Chile (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=41)3339586834483334436498St. Lucia (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=176)34451327519719328816143South Africa (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=172)3553459176269611348568Fiji (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=68)366928167748335211162114Portugal (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=155)373811215765683366314920Spain (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=173)381184615442138393475517Armenia (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=10)39477348236831431186442Kuwait (http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=105)4012185397268198999967Antigua and Barbuda 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