Cape Verde enjoys greater economic freedom than other Portuguese language countries, according to a new report. The 19th edition of the Index of Economic Freedom, compiled by the US Heritage Foundation, revealed the West African archipelago has an economic freedom rating of 63.7. This makes Cape Verde not only the 65th freest out of 177 ranking countries, but first among those nations that share its mother tongue - including Portugal itself - and fourth among 46 sub-Saharan African nations.

The country also beat off the likes of Timor-Leste, Angola, Sao Tome and Principe with their score, which is 0.2 point better than its 2012 rating. Analysts claim this is the result of substantial gains in property rights, freedom from corruption and better management of public spending. These favourable conditions have offset Cape Verde's declining labour output and monetary freedoms.

"Cape Verde’s transition to a more open and flexible economic system has been facilitated by substantial restructuring and the relatively effective rule of law," the authors of the Index report elaborated. "With property rights strongly protected in comparison to other economies in the region, the small island economy’s substantive reforms have reduced corruption and enhanced the quality of the regulatory environment."

These factors bode well for those considering investing in Cape Verdean real estate to capitalise on its upward momentum. In 2011 the Global Property Guide reported that the country was going from strength-to-strength, despite the rest of the world struggling with the global financial crisis. Tourism in particular has been growing at breakneck speed, increasing 25 per cent per annum over the past five years.

This is in part thanks to macroeconomic and political stability, with Cape Verde making increases in income and poverty reduction. The government also promotes free trade and open markets, but close management will be needed to ensure the country stays in positive territory, with the Heritage Foundation noting that public spending and debt are "approaching levels that cause concern".



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