Taiwan drops two spots to 22nd in prosperity index

Staff writer, with CNA, LONDON

Fri, Nov 01, 2013 - Page 4

Taiwan has been ranked the 22nd-most prosperous country in the world on this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index, falling two spots from last year due largely to drops in personal freedom.

Taiwan slipped from 31st in the world for governance last year to 33rd this year, and from 27th for personal freedoms to 31st.

The UK-based Legatum Institute’s assessment official Nathan Gamester said that Taiwan should focus on improving government transparency to boost its performance, but added that the country has improved overall in the past five years.

The nation’s economic growth has moved up 10 spots to 16th place since 2009, which the institute attributes to gross domestic savings, confidence in financial institutions, satisfaction with living standards and decreases in non-performing loans.

The last time the country ranked 22nd was 2010, after which it climbed to 20th place for two consecutive years.

In this year’s ranking, Taiwan came in sixth in the Asia-Pacific region, following New Zealand (fifth overall), Australia (seventh), Singapore (18th), Hong Kong (19th) and Japan (21st).

The highest sub-index was safety and security, ranking ninth worldwide, which was an increase of two places since last year.

In Asia, it ranks below only Hong Kong. It stayed in the top 10 for education, 22nd in entrepreneurship and opportunity, and 25th in health.