Taiwan remained in 15th place globally in economic freedom rankings produced by the Canada-based Fraser Institute.
In the 2013 Economic Freedom of the World report, which was based on financial data for 2011, Taiwan had an overall score of 7.77, which placed it in 15th position among the 152 economies surveyed and fifth in the Asia-Pacific region, behind Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.
Hong Kong topped the rankings with a score of 8.97 and Singapore was second with an 8.73, while Japan and South Korea were tied in 33rd place with a score of 7.5. China was in 123rd position.
The study measures “the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom,” and considers indicators in five broad areas.
They are: size of government, legal system and property rights, sound money, freedom to trade internationally and regulation.
Taiwan performed best in the sound money category, finishing 18th with a score of 9.5.
It was weakest in the international trade (44th, 7.7) and regulation categories (77th, 7.1).
US and European business groups in Taiwan have repeatedly complained of excessive trade and business regulations in Taiwan, seeing them as impediments to possible future free-trade agreements.