Taiwan tops Asia, ranks 3rd globally in Transformation Index

Taiwan is a leader in fostering democratic change, economic development and good governance according to Germany-based Bertelsmann Foundation

File photo: 2012

File photo: 2012 (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan Today) -- Taiwan ranks first in Asia and third globally in fostering democratic change, economic development and good governance, according to the Transformation Index released March 22 by Germany-based Bertelsmann Foundation.

With a score of 9.42 out of 10, Taiwan trailed just the Czech Republic and Estonia, tied for first on 9.52, among the 129 countries and territories surveyed. It was the only Asian nation in the top 10, with neighbors South Korea, Singapore and mainland China finishing in 11th, 24th and 81st, respectively.

Lithuania placed fourth in the rankings, followed by Uruguay, Slovenia, Chile, Latvia, Slovakia and Poland, in that order.

According to the report, Taiwan is a high performer in democratic politics and liberal market policies and excels in guaranteeing political rights and civil liberties, with freedom of opinion and the press well established and exercised unrestrictedly.

Scoring 9.55 in the political transformation component, Taiwan “continues to enjoy a high degree of stateness, meaningful elections, the absence of undemocratic veto actors, stable democratic institutions and a vibrant society,” it added.

In terms of economic transformation, the country was tied for second with Estonia on 9.29, following the Czech Republic on 9.64. The survey praised Taiwan as “a highly developed market economy” that is institutionally sound with transparent, clearly defined and guaranteed rules for ensuring fair competition.

With regard to governance, which assesses a state’s determination and consistency in pursuing a market-based democracy, Taiwan shared third alongside Chile with a score of 7.33, behind Estonia and Uruguay, in that order.

Launched in 2003 and released biennially since 2006, the index analyzes and evaluates the quality of democracy, a market economy and political management in developing countries and territories as well as those in transition.