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Emerging ‘Asian Tiger Cubs’ catching up to regional leaders

The 2012 Legatum Prosperity Index (Table) places NZ 5th overall. Sub-index rankings are:

 EconomyEntrepreneurship & OpportunityGovernanceEducationHealthSafety & SecurityPersonal FreedomSocial Capital
2012271321201324
201124132222923
201017144119733

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Embargo: 00:01 GMT 30th October 2012

Emerging ‘Asian Tiger Cubs’ catching up to regional leaders in latest Legatum Prosperity Index™

• ‘Asian Tigers’ feature amongst the global prosperity top 30, while a new breed of ‘Tiger Cub’ countries show future promise.

• Indonesia is the fastest climber in the world for overall prosperity.

• Malaysia scales the Economy sub-index ranking, entering the top 15.

• Australia and New Zealand most prosperous countries in Asia-Pacific region.

Legatum Prosperity Index™ redraws the world map, grouping new continents together according to shared attributes between nations.

A new generation of Asian ‘Tiger Cub’ countries has emerged, according to the latest findings from the Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index™, with Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia all appearing in top half of the worldwide rankings this year (45th, 53rd, 56th and 63rd respectively).

Now fast approaching the regional leaders, ‘Tiger Cub’ economies are performing well across the overall prosperity rankings, thanks in large part to increasing levels of foreign direct investment (FDI), as more investors have been attracted by regional stability, relatively low labour costs and a high output of electronics and components. Among the Tiger Cubs, Thailand and Indonesia receive the highest levels of FDI ($8.6bn and $8.1bn) while each of the Tiger Cubs receives higher average inflows of FDI than South Korea.1

Indonesia is a particular success story of the ‘Tiger Cubs’, climbing 26 places in the prosperity rankings since 2009 (now in 63rd position), while Malaysia ranks in 43rd position overall and 15th in the Economy sub-index – the highest position of all the Tiger Cub nations.

Australia and New Zealand lead the region for prosperity, ranking in fourth and fifth place, as a result of strong all-round performance in the Index’s eight sub-indices.2

The Asian Tigers – Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea – also perform well (ranking 18th, 19th, 20th and 27th respectively) closely followed by Japan (22nd).

The Legatum Prosperity Index™ is a unique and robust assessment of global wealth and wellbeing, which benchmarks 142 countries around the world in eight distinct categories: Economy; Education; Entrepreneurship & Opportunity; Governance; Health; Personal Freedom; Safety & Security; and Social Capital.

Jeffrey Gedmin, President and CEO of the Legatum Institute, said: “The Legatum Prosperity Index™ allows us to paint a comprehensive picture of what makes a

country truly successful, encompassing traditional measures of material wealth, as well as capturing citizens’ sense of wellbeing – from how safe they feel, to their perceived personal freedom.

“It is encouraging to see a new generation of promising economies come to the fore in this year’s Index. However, GDP alone can never offer a complete view of prosperity.

“In order for these Tiger Cubs to fulfil their full potential and continue to scale the global prosperity rankings, leaders in these countries must overcome the barriers that remain – encouraging tolerance, providing top quality education and distributing wealth more equally amongst citizens.”

To see the full overall rankings, sub-index scores and to compare countries and years, please visit: www.prosperity.com

Prosperity across the world

Scandinavian countries prosper most according to the Legatum Prosperity Index™, with Norway, Denmark and Sweden topping the overall Index (first, second and third), and Finland performing well (seventh).

In Europe, overall prosperity has increased, with the Netherlands, Ireland, and Germany each climbing the rankings (now eighth, tenth and 14th respectively). However, more than two thirds (24 out of 33) of European countries have seen a decline in their Economy score since 2009 – undoubtedly as a result of ongoing economic difficulty in the region.

Meanwhile, the ‘Arab Spring effect’ has spread across the Middle East and North Africa over the past few years, with steep declines in the Social Capital sub-index pulling several countries in the region down the prosperity rankings.

Barriers to prosperity

The Legatum Prosperity Index™ has this year for the first time redrawn the world map, pulling nations into new proximities based on shared attributes. The six new continents reveal that even the most robust economies face their own obstacles to achieving prosperity. The continents have been characterised as follows:

1. Growth without Personal Freedom.

2. Social Capital as a substitute for Governance.

3. Long road to prosperity.

4. Promising economies, unsafe countries.

5. Good Education, poor Governance.

6. Top performers.

For example, the high-growth markets of China, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam score well in the Economy sub-index but rank amongst the worst

countries for promoting and safeguarding the Personal Freedom of their citizens (as per continent 1).

By the same token, a cluster of African and ex-Soviet nations – including Zambia, Sudan and Kazakhstan – all score relatively highly in the Social Capital sub-index, while demonstrating a chronic lack of government provided support (Governance), as communities attempt to fill the gaps left by the state (as per continent 2).

Mr Gedmin added: “We believe that by measuring the quality of education, healthcare, social capital and opportunity, our Prosperity Index gives the clearest view of how countries are prospering today and how they are likely to prosper in the future.”

For a full view of these six new continents and the countries they comprise, please download and share our infographic: http://press.prosperity.com/Prosperity_Index_Infographic.png

Ends

1 FDI net inflows average 2005-2010 (calculated in $billions USD).

2 Full definitions of the eight sub-indices of the Legatum Prosperity Index™ can be found at www.prosperity.com

About the sub-indices

The Economy sub-index measures countries’ performances in four areas: macroeconomic policies, economic satisfaction and expectations, foundation for growth, and financial sector efficiency.

The Entrepreneurship & Opportunity sub-index measures countries’ performance in three areas: entrepreneurial environment, innovative activity, and access to opportunity.

The Governance sub-index measures countries’ performance in three areas: effective and accountable government, fair elections and political participation, and rule of law.

The Education sub-index measures countries’ performance in three areas: access to education, quality of education, and human capital.

The Health sub-index measures countries’ performance in three areas: basic health outcomes, health infrastructure and preventative care, and physical and mental health satisfaction.

The Safety & Security sub-index measures countries’ performances in two areas: national security and personal safety.

The Personal Freedom sub-index measures countries’ performance in two areas: individual freedom and social tolerance.

The Social Capital sub-index measures countries’ performances in two areas: social cohesion and engagement, as well as community and family networks.

About the Legatum Prosperity Index

The Legatum Prosperity Index™ is a unique global assessment of national prosperity based on both wealth and wellbeing. In its 6th year, the Index assesses 142 countries, representing more than 96% of the world’s population and 99% of the world’s GDP. Using rigorous research and indepth analysis, the Index ranks countries based on their performance in eight subindices, including Entrepreneurship & Opportunity, Governance, Personal Freedom, Health, and Social Capital.

About the Legatum Institute

Based in London, the Legatum Institute is an independent non-partisan public policy organisation whose research, publications, and programmes advance ideas and policies in support of free and prosperous societies around the world. The Legatum Institute’s signature annual publication is the Legatum Prosperity Index™, a unique global assessment of national prosperity based on both wealth and wellbeing. The Legatum Institute is the co-publisher of Democracy Lab, a journalistic joint venture

with Foreign Policy Magazine dedicated to covering political and economic transitions around the world.

www.li.com


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