This year's economic freedom index deepened the already substantial divide between the three Baltic states.
TALLINN - The newest economic freedom index produced by the "Heritage Foundation" think tank has increased the divide between the three Baltic states, with Estonia climbing two places to 14th while Latvia lost six places to 56th place. Lithuania fell between the two extremes, gaining five places to come in 24th.
In general, the report found that countries are gaining in economic freedoms following a sharp decline during the world economic crisis. However, scores have still not returned to 2008 levels.
"Economic freedom advanced this year, regaining much of the momentum lost during the fiscal crisis and global recession. Many governments around the world have rededicated themselves to fiscal soundness, openness and reform," the report, produced in conjunction with "The Wall Street Journal", said.
On this year's index Estonia found itself far ahead of other former Soviet countries, sandwiched between Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Lithuania was hemmed in by Germany and Taiwan, while Latvia was ranked alongside Macedonia and Malta.
The 2011 Index of Economic Freedom reports on economic policy developments since the second half of 2009 in 183 economies. Based on 10 measures that evaluate openness, the rule of law, and competitiveness, the Index ranks economies according to their economic freedom.