September 18, 2008
Economic Freedom of the World: 2008 Report
Philippine Edition Launched
Mark Mullins, executive director of the Fraser Institute,
receives the first copy of the EFW 2008 Philippine edition
from Sen. MAR Roxas.
To highlight the Economic Freedom
Network (EFN) Asia
’s Manila conference on property rights,
the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF), the Center
for Research and Communication
, the Philippine
and the Foundation for Economic Freedom launched
the Philippine edition of the Economic
Freedom of the World: 2008 Report
(EFW) in Mandaluyong
City on 18 September 2008.
Compiled by a global network of think tanks led by the Fraser
Institute, the EFW constructs a statistical index of economic
freedom worldwide. It has five components: size
of government, legal structure, access to sound money, freedom
to trade internationally and regulation of business, labor and
capital. It looks at correlations between the degrees
of economic freedom on the one hand and development objectives
on the other hand, and it tracks these changes over time. This
is to test empirically whether economic freedom is associated
with growing prosperity and social development or not.
The current issue focuses on economic freedom and poverty. It shows
that as the world has become freer, poverty has been reduced. It
is striking to note that the poorest countries all are marked
by a grievous lack of economic freedom. Countries that
increased economic freedom saw poverty rates decline.
Dr. Mahar Mangahas, president of Social Weather Stations,
and Atty. Butch Abad, former Deparment of Education Secretary,
discuss the EFW 2008 Philippine edition.
“One of the adages of business management is if one cannot
measure something then one cannot manage and so therefore improve
it. Thus the impact of economic freedom on the lives of Filipinos,
which used to be unclear, is now made much clearer with the launch
of this year’s Philippine edition,” said Senator Manual
“MAR” Roxas II, Liberal
president. “Sadly in our country, it is our ungainly
laws and the inefficiency
of our legal structure
us from improving our lives,” he continued.
“The EFW cannot resolve the challenge for us. It can merely
inform us and warn us that the need for better balance and better
governance exists. This is a valuable tool
us to assess the level of economic freedom
country and use that knowledge to bring forth our nation’s
great destiny,” he concluded.
The launch of the Philippine edition of the EFW 2008 report
was also the focal point of the joint
celebration of the Foundation’s 50th anniversary
and the EFN Asia’s 10th anniversary on
18 September. The dual event emphasized their continued partnership
in safeguarding individual liberty through the free market economy.
Together, FNF and EFN Asia further develop the use of the economic
freedom index in Asia as a tool for policy debate and analyze
the region’s economic developments.