Ukraine has been included in the lowest category in the ranking of free economies, which is compiled by the Heritage Foundation, occupying 163rd place among 179 countries and demonstrating the worst result among countries in Europe.

Along with Belarus and such countries as North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Iran, Liberia, Togo, Kiribati, Burundi and other countries, Ukraine was included in the category of "repressed" economies.

The authors of the rating believe that the foundations of economic freedom are fragile in Ukraine and unevenly established across the country. "Poor protection of property rights and widespread corruption discourage entrepreneurial activity, severely undermining prospects for long-term economic expansion. The rule of law is weak, and the judicial system remains susceptible to substantial political interference," according to a report on the situation in Ukraine, UKRINFORM reports.

Hong Kong has retained the highest position in the ranking for the 18th consecutive year. Singapore is in second place, followed by Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Russia is in 144th place in the bottom of the category of "mostly unfree" economies.

Estonia was recognized as the freest economy among former Soviet republics, which is in 16th place in the ranking, ahead of Finland, Sweden and Germany.

The Index of Economic Freedom is compiled on the basis of assessing the effectiveness of laws, their efficiency, the number of government officials and regulatory agencies, as well as the openness of markets.

As reported, Ukraine is in 152nd place among 183 countries in terms of a favorable investment climate in the Doing Business ranking, which is prepared by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.

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