The report, which ranks countries upon the consistency of their institutions and policies in promoting economic freedom, is published by the Fraser Institute in Canada.
The 2017 edition was calculated based on the data for the index gathered in 2015.
The ranking also revealed that regionally, Malaysia was ranked fourth among Asean countries after Singapore, the Philippines and Cambodia, followed closely by Indonesia and Laos in the fifth and sixth spot.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) said Malaysia scored an overall 7.19, an improvement in 0.19 point year on year, driven by an improved ‘Size of Government’ score which reflected the scale of government intervention in a country.
“The improved outlook is indicative of a greater sense of individual economic freedom afforded to the populace,” it said.
IDEAS said Malaysia also saw improvements in the ‘Regulation’ and ‘Access to Sound Money’ scores respectively.
“The latter category is judged by how effectively the country adopted policies that generate low inflation. The improvement in Malaysia’s ‘Regulation’ score was testament to easing restrictions on businesses,” it said.
It said Malaysia’s scores in key components of EFW are: Size of government (increased to 6.93 from 6.63); Legal system and property rights (fell to 5.76 from 5.87); Access to sound money (improved to 7.01 from 6.85); Freedom to trade internationally (dropped to 7.51 from 7.56); and, Regulation of credit, labour and business (increased to 8.72 from 8.62). - Bernama