If you’ve been trying to remember the last time Belize was featured on some foreign list or by some rating agency in a positive light, you might not find many. Well tonight we have one that is not favorable. Have you heard about the Index of Economic Freedom? It’s an annual guide published by the Wall Street Journal and Washington’s premier think tank, the Heritage Foundation and it measures the economic success of one hundred and eighty-five countries. It’s based on a grading system using four main categories which are Rule of Law, Limited Government, Regulatory Efficiency and Open Markets. So where does Belize stand in the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom? Well, right around number one hundred and two, or in the grade system of the index, mostly unfree. According to the index, Belize’s overall score is four point six points worse than last year due to score reductions in nearly all of the ten economic freedoms that make the country’s decline the most broad-based in the 2013 index. The index continues that “Economic dynamism is constrained by institutional weaknesses that undermine prospects for long term, broad based economic development. In particular, the judicial system remains inefficient and vulnerable to political interference. Corruption, perceived as widespread, severely undermines entrepreneurial dynamism.” Belize is ranked twentieth of twenty-nine countries in the South and Central American regions.

Channel 5