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Dozens of different organizations make all possible ratings of countries - from GDP to the level of happiness. Which state has the cleanest environment, the best healthcare system and most favorable climate? Just look into the rating, and you will find the answer. There are many discussions about the reliability of different ratings. In general, people might be skeptical towards ratings, but everyone looks on them with interest. It is like weather forecast: people do not believe them, but every morning they check the forecast.
Media resources are usually full of headlines such as "Ukraine has ranked XX place, between XXX and XXX." Almost in all ratings we are usually accompanied by African or Asian countries; we have little democracy, low GDP, have troubles with freedom of speech and so on. In other words, the situation is gloomy. Is this picture real? This is an open question. After all, the task of ranking is to range countries in places in relation to each other, rather than give a voluminous analysis of the situation.
We have analyzed 10 well-known ratings and selected 10 countries that you hardly expected to see above Ukraine. These are the countries that outrank Ukraine in nine or even ten ratings. And these are not trivial Western European countries or the US. We have chosen very exotic options.
How much do you know about Mauritius? Have you heard of it? Even if you heard of it, probably, in the context of "Indian Ocean vacation" or "sugar cane." By the way, this state, occupying a number of islands with an area of 2 thousand square meters km, is the second country in terms of living standards in Africa and the third by GDP per capita. The economy of Mauritius is based on the production of sugar (sugar cane is grown by about 90% of the cultivated farmland), tourism and the textile industry. In recent times, offshore and banking business have been developing here, as well as the extraction and processing of seafood and fish. More than 32,000 offshore companies are registered in Mauritius. The banking system of Mauritius is considered relatively developed and consists of traditional, offshore and Islamic banks.
According to the index of economic freedom, the country is on the highest 15th place in the world – this is even higher than Germany, Japan, and Norway. The country is number 49 in Doing Business ranking. In 2005, local reforms have encouraged the opening of small and medium-sized businesses on the island. Now the profit tax is 15%. No dividends, royalties and interest payments tax is levied. There is also no tax on capital gains and stamp duty in the republic. You can pay taxes through the Internet. Now it takes six days to start a business in Mauritius. According to the British Foreign Office, Mauritius is one of the most entrepreneurial countries in Africa. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls the distinctive features of the island political stability and an independent judiciary. Mauritius attracts foreign experts in order to grow and develop. The visa process for them is simplified, and special tax incentives for medical business are in effect.
GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) of this tiny island country, the former colony of France and the UK, is measured at $ 25 billion, which is $ 20.4 thousand per person - 2.5 times more than in Ukraine. Two thirds of the population of Mauritius are employed in the service sector, unemployment and poverty do not exceed 8%.
However, the crime rate on the island is quite high. A lot of questions are raised by one of the peculiarities of the judicial process: pre-trial detention. The police can arrest and detain a person before proving his/her guilt and keep him/her in custody until an investigation is completed. Imprisonment might last up to one year, however, such cases are very rare.
Mauritius is one of the few states where there is no official language. Most residents speak English or French. All official documents and meetings are in English. French is more frequent for business environment and at business meetings. Indigenous Mauritians prefer to communicate in Mauritian Creole.
Many tourists choose Mauritius as a place for medical tourism, especially plastic surgery. Beach recreation in Mauritius is expensive, the prices are comparable to the Maldives and Seychelles (at least $ 4 thousand per week for two persons).
Despite the relatively recent ethnic conflicts in the country, now Mauritius is just an example of democracy (by the standards of Africa). This is a parliamentary republic, the president is elected by parliament for five years, now for the first time, woman became the country's leader. To satisfy all ethnoreligious communities, a specific system was developed: 62 members of the parliament are elected in open elections, and another eight are appointed by the election commission from representatives of various ethnic communities. There is a shift towards left and center-left parties. Mauritius is the 18th democracy in the world (according to the Economist Intelligence Unit).
Uruguay is called Latin American Switzerland, and there are many reasons for that. This is one of the most economically developed countries in Latin America, where incomes are the most evenly distributed. According to different ratings, the country ranks first in Latin America in the field of democracy: lack of corruption, e-administration, first positions when it comes to freedom of the press, overall prosperity, economic freedom...
Uruguay gives excellent opportunities for opening business and running a small business. That is why people here do not want to be just employees. Uruguayan indicators in Doing Business are not that great - it is very difficult to obtain permission for construction and export.
Uruguay is also called the "white" country and the country of immigrants. 90% of the population are immigrants or descendants of immigrants from Europe, mainly from Italy, Portugal, and Spain. There are practically no blacks and Indians, no racism and anti-Semitism. Here, driving a car when drunk is considered a mitigating circumstance. But the penalty for smoking in closed public places is more than a thousand dollars. The Internet is reachable practically in any corner of the country. Medicine is at a very high level and is absolutely free, even for tourists. Local schools give laptops. Uruguay attracts tourists with a lot of casinos from neighboring Brazil, where the casino is banned.
The economy of Uruguay is focused on the export of livestock products, to a lesser extent - agriculture and fisheries. At the same time, 9% of employees are employed in agriculture, 15% in industry, 76% in the service sector. Recently, tourism and banking have taken an important role in the economy. Social life and industry are concentrated in the capital, Montevideo. Many industries, such as oil refining and food, are mostly in the hands of the state. In the 1990s, a program was adopted to privatize a number of industries, but in fact only the international airport Carrasco became private.
Almost 95% of Uruguay's electricity comes from renewable energy sources, mainly hydro and wind power plants.
As in a number of other Latin American countries, a person in Uruguay might become a president only for one term. However, the current leader Tabare Vasquez was elected for the second time (but with a break). Before that, the head of state was "the poorest president in the world": José Mujica refused the state palace in favor of the farmhouse, donated most of his income to social projects, flew economy class and drove old Volkswagen Beetle. In the past, the former president of Uruguay was partisan leader of the Tupamaros group, spent 13 years in prison during the country's military dictatorship. He survived numerous tortures and spent months in solitary confinement. And then he became an adored people president.
Mujica authorized the production, saleб and consumption of marijuana, for which "The Economist" called Uruguay "the country of the year" in 2013. Same-sex marriages and abortions are also legal in Uruguay, which makes the country one of the most progressive in the world. Uruguay provides more soldiers per capita to United Nations peacekeeping missions than any other country.
Left forces, including the Communists have the majority in the parliament.
Even by the standards of Central America, Costa Rica is a small country, but in terms of living standards among the Central American states, it is second after Panama. Despite its location, Costa Rica is predominantly a "white" country. The indigenous people, who inhabited the territory of modern Costa Rica in the pre-Columbian era, - the Uthers – have completely disappeared as a result of the conquest. Costa Rica is the only neutral state in the whole of America, back in 1948 completely it has abandoned the use of the army (therefore, columns of festively dressed schoolchildren participate in the Independence Day parades). Since then, the only power structure in the country remains the police. The level of crime is relatively low; the country is considered one of the safest ones in Latin America.
This country is in fact the oldest democracy in the Middle and South Americas: with the exception of two short periods, since 1889, Costa Rica was ruled by democratically elected governments. The power belongs to the left-centrist. Luis Guillermo Solis, professor of history and political science, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Costa Rica, was elected President in 2014. There are three left parties in the parliament; there are even followers of the libertarian movement.
The economy of Costa Rica is based on tourism, agriculture and the production and export of electronics (microprocessors and medical devices). Until recently, there was no large-scale production in Costa Rica. There were only small enterprises of light and food industries, but then, with the inflow of investments, cement and pharmaceutical enterprises, plants for the production of cement, tires and fertilizers appeared.
Now foreign investors are attracted by political stability, the qualification of the workforce, as well as tax benefits. The most impressive economic achievements are related to the industrial complex that Intel Corporation opened in San Jose in 1998. It was here that this world leader in the production of semiconductors built one of its largest assembly and testing facilities in which silicone chips manufactured at the company's factories were transformed in the processors. Intel complex has significantly stimulated the economy of Costa Rica (its products account for about 40% of the country's exports, which is the world’s highest share of one corporation).
Despite the fact that Costa Rica is surrounded by so-called banana republics, agriculture in this country produces only 6% of GDP (production of coffee, tea, corn, bananas, sugar and beef), and it is far behind industry, not to mention the service sector two thirds of GDP). In 2016, GDP per capita was 16.4 thousand dollars, almost twice as much as in Ukraine. Costa Rica has some features of socialism. For example, fuel prices are regulated by the state, all gas stations has one price. In 2016, the country's president, Luis Guillermo Solis, at the opening of the new hydroelectric power station announced that Costa Rica has completely switched to renewable energy sources.
The long-term economic development of Costa Rica results in the highest living and written standards in the region, as well as the longest life expectancy. The literacy rate in Costa Rica is 96%, one of the highest rates in Latin America. The share of spending on education in the state budget is higher than in any other Latin American country. Compulsory primary education was introduced in Costa Rica. Most secondary schools provide general education, but there are also a number of schools of technical and pedagogical specialization.
Costa Rica is one of the countries with the happiest population. In 2009 and 2012, inhabitants of Costa Rica were recognized the happiest people on the planet. International observers note a very high level of freedom of the press.
Panama confidently holds the first place in terms of living standards among the countries of Central America. Panama is a democratic republic that boasts not only exceptional financial and tax benefits, but also monetary and political stability, which is controlled by the government. This country is very similar to the neighboring Costa Rica. Panama does not have regular army too.
But in the late 80's, the Americans conducted a military operation here and overthrew the local dictator Manuel Noriega. But Panama Canal and the great influence of the Americans contributed to the rapid democratization of Panama and liberalization of its economy. Back in the 90s, governments began to enter the free market, electric and telephone companies were privatized, and Panama joined the WTO. In recent times, protests and social demonstrations against neo-liberal reforms have become a notable trend in Panamanian life.
Economy of Panama is based on the exploitation of the Panama Canal, as well as in banking, insurance, registration of ships under the flag of the country and tourism. These industries account for about two-thirds of Panama's GDP, employing about two-thirds of workers. Industry accounts for about 17% of GDP, and agriculture - about 6%. Construction is a leading industry here. Half of the peasants use state lands. The capital of Panama is a modern metropolis with 70-storey buildings, various large hypermarkets, malls, and banking skyscrapers.
The Panamanian currency balboa is tightly tied to the dollar, which is circulating freely. Only Hong Kong has more offshore companies than Panama. This is a real “tax haven.” The legal system here is based on Spanish civil law, and corporate law is based on the Delaware model, which provides maximum business flexibility. In Panama, there are more than 40 laws aimed at protecting foreign business.
The largest number of ships in the world go under the Panamanian flag. This is due to the fact that Panama refers to the so-called countries of a convenient flag.
Despite the high poverty (slums here are located next to the glass offices), GDP per capita is quite high - $ 23,000 per person. Panama is very popular among wealthy elderly Americans who move here to calmly meet their old age at their own villa. By the way, in the area of the Panama Canal zone, a lot of US citizens live permanently, among which about 75% are US Army servicemen. Americans live together with their families in their own towns, specially built to accommodate them, practically not touching and not contacting the local population (having their own administrative bodies, police and other municipal and communal services, schools, churches, shops, entertainment facilities).
To understand what problems modern Panama faces, it is enough to look at the program of the incumbent President Juan Carlos Varela. He promised to fight corruption that struck law enforcement and the judicial system, to restore democratic governance principles, trampled on by his predecessor, promised to develop tourism and transport infrastructure, expand the Panama Canal, and actively attract foreign capital to create jobs. Varela issued a decree monitoring the prices of 22 staple foods and promised to release members of more than 200 criminal groups, who would disarm until August 1 drug cartels use Panama's isthmus to bring drugs from Colombia to the United States).
Chile has the highest per capita income in Latin America - 24 thousand dollars. According to the IMF and World Bank, it is classified as high-income country. This is one of the most dynamically developing countries in Latin America, the only country in this region where social conditions have not worsened in recent years, as well as the least corrupt country in Latin America, a country with a low crime rate. According to the index of economic freedom, Chile occupies the 10th place in the world, which is especially striking on the background of Ukraine’s one (162nd). And this is the only country in South America that is part of the "club of developed countries".
However Chile experienced the socialist experiments of president Allende and the brutal military dictatorship of Pinochet. Yes, today many people argue about the effectiveness of the liberal reforms of the Pinochet times - whether they were good or whether they led a fifth of the population to poverty. However, it is difficult to argue that the reforms carried out by the "Chicago boys" in the days of Pinochet, opened the Chilean economy to the world. "The magic of the free market," as economists write, did its job - GDP per capita by the mid-2000s exceeded the average level of Latin America by 80%. In fact, for thirty years Chile has been restoring the relative level of its economic development, which was lost during the preceding 60 years. Rapid growth during the three decades of 1975-2005 was named "economic miracle of Chile."
The main disadvantage of Chile's economy is its dependence on copper exports. Chile is the world's largest copper exporter, extracted and smelted by the national CODELCO enterprise (one-third of world production). The large drop in copper prices on the world market occasionally causes up to 40% of export losses. China is the world's main copper consumer (42% of global demand), and it is also Chile's main trading partner: about a third of Chile's exports come from China.
An important role is played by the extraction of other resources, in particular iron, nitrates, gold, and silver. Among other industries are metallurgical, woodworking, food, textile. Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, provides 7% of GNP. Chile is one of the largest exporters of fruits, as well as fish and wood products. Economic growth is also provided by foreign investments. The country is dependent on external oil supplies (90% of all consumed oil). Chile has the highest level of credit trust due to the stability of the Chilean peso and financial markets, and public debt does not reach and 20% of GDP. Even under Pinochet, a sovereign fund was created in Chile, which is replenished by the export of copper.
No matter how successful the Chilean fiscal policy is, there is a need to reduce dependence on copper and increase diversification. Chile has the second largest reserves of lithium in the world (after Bolivia), and if the demand for lithium batteries continues to grow, the Chilean economy is ready to take advantage of this. Therefore, Santiago is waiting for the development of technologies in the market of electric cars. Chile wants not just to trade lithium, but to produce ready-made batteries. Since the early 1970s, the share of copper in Chilean exports has fallen from 85% to 55%, which is considered a success in the country.
Until 1973, Chile was considered one of the oldest democracies in Latin America, which neither had long and bloody civil wars, nor long periods of political instability, nor endless series of military coups, which are typical of other states in the region. The break on Pinochet's junta was brutal, but then the country has returned to the democratic way.
The most important achievement of the 1990s was the large-scale social policy on overcoming poverty, development of special social programs, which resulted in a halving of the number of poor people in the country by 2000 (by 20%). In the 90s, the country could not completely overcome poverty, make higher education free and accessible, and most importantly - fundamentally reduce social inequality. A consequence of the unresolved number of social problems was the growing public discontent, which resulted in large-scale youth protests during the presidency of Sebastian Pinera (2010-2014), the representative of the right-wing opposition who came to power for the first time. The driver of the protests was the students. Now Michelle Bachelet is facing this challenge. She promised to adopt a new constitution, introduce universal free and high-quality education, and carry out a number of reforms to further improve democracy.
Jamaica is not only the homeland of Usain Bolt and Bob Marley, but also the country that built the first railroad in the Western Hemisphere. This fact, of course, is an exaggeration, because until 1962 Jamaica was an English colony. Today Jamaica is an agrarian-industrial country with a free market economy, one of the most democratic states in the Caribbean region.
Most of the Jamaicans are extremely devout, and the morning prayer here is perceived as ordinary as breakfast or washing. Jamaica has the largest number of churches per square kilometer in the world – there are more than 1600 churches and their number is constantly growing. However, there are no age restrictions on the sale or drinking of alcoholic beverages in public places, and people in the slums simply adore reggae.
Even as a British colony, Jamaica was an example of democracy on a small scale. And so far Jamaica differs from the general number of parliamentary democracies (although it also reminds other former British colonies). The supreme executive power here formally belongs to the governor-general, appointed by the British crown and its representative. However, the Jamaicans do not particularly bother with this. Both Labor and the Social Democrats are almost equally represented in the parliament.
After the socialist experiments of the 1970s in the 1980s, the government of Jamaica sought to implement structural reforms to activate private initiative in the economy. All this happened with the active participation of the International Monetary Fund. The allocations to the social sphere were reduced, the Jamaican national currency was stabilized, and inflation was reduced. During the 1980s, a significant part of the Jamaican economy was transferred to private hands as a result of privatization. All this eventually led to sustainable economic growth (with the exception of a drought-related interruption). In recent years, the economy demonstrates growth again, especially tourism sector is growing.
The core of Jamaica's economy is now the services sector and tourism. The most acute problems of the country remain a large trade deficit, unemployment, and external debt (almost one and a half times the country's GDP). Jamaica extracts bauxites, from which alumina is produced (an intermediate stage of aluminum production), which account for more than half of the country's exports. The country grows bananas, sugar cane, and coffee. The economic development of Jamaica depends on the influx of foreign investment, mainly from the United States and Britain, which buy out the major share of the exports of the island nation. In Jamaica, foreign affiliates contributed to the creation of jobs, in particular, by attracting labor-intensive investment in tourism and the creation of call centers. This stimulated the development of the services sector, which now exceeds exports of goods.
The main sector of the economy of Jamaica is the service sector (more than 60% of GDP and workers). According to GDP per capita, Jamaica is almost on par with Ukraine. The country is poor. Jamaica suffers from rampant crime, high unemployment, and lack of investment in social development. Jamaica has the world’s highest figure of murders by police per capita. Local crime is fueled by the fact that Jamaica is an important transit point for cocaine on its way to the United States.
Jamaica cannot boast of high ratings, but for all ten parameters of comparison this rather poor country is ahead of Ukraine. And according to the level of freedom of the press, it is at the 8th place in the world, while Ukraine is at 102nd.
Compared to all other countries of this rating, Albania is the most similar to Ukraine. The country that tasted the charms of the administrative-command economy, besides agrarian, without industry, with a heap of economic problems, has approached to its independence. A country has significant level of corruption, it needs reforms, but never implements it to the end. Like Ukraine, Albania is now trying to reform the economy with the help of the IMF and the World Bank. Currently, Albania is undergoing intensive macroeconomic restructuring with the active support of foreign creditors. Albania is on the road to a complex transition to an open market economy, although the economy is showing growth. And not by 1.5%, as in Ukraine, but by 3.5-4%.
The government manages to restrain inflation and keep it at a relatively low level. Measures have been taken to counteract criminality and contain violence in the country. Recently, a package of financial reforms aimed at attracting foreign investment was approved. The economy is supplemented by annual contributions from compatriots abroad (mainly from Greece and Italy), which is about 15% of GDP. This helps to compensate for the growing trade deficit. The agricultural sector, which employs about half of the total working population of Albania, contributes only a fifth of total GDP. This is because small farms lack modern equipment, and they are also forced to cultivate small (and often unfit for farming) land. Opaque legislation in this area is also a deterrent to the modernization of this industry.
Lack of energy resources and a worn-out infrastructure complex contribute to the persistence of a rather unfavorable business environment in Albania and the lack of significant success in attracting foreign capital. With the help of the European Union, Albania is taking steps to improve the situation with worn-out road and railways, which is a serious barrier to economic growth. Many Italian brands produce products in Albania because of the cheapness of the local workforce. Albania is one of the largest exporters of cannabis in Europe.
In recent years, the service sector has grown faster than other areas, the tourist infrastructure is being updated. Albania has become a competitor to neighboring Croatia and Montenegro for beach vacations. From 2004 to 2014, the number of foreign tourists in Albania increased by 10 times. The cost of real estate on the coast has grown by 200%, but to this day remains the most inexpensive one in the Mediterranean.
Albania is a member of NATO, and since 2014 - a candidate for EU membership.
Malaysia is the most developed country on our list. This country in Southeast Asia in just half a century of independence from Britain was able to achieve a fantastic pace of economic development. Over the past 50 years, Malaysia's GDP has grown by an average of 6.5% per year. Against the backdrop of a slowdown in global economic development, this is simply an amazing result. For several decades, Malaysia has evolved from a third world country to a developed state, and nowadays it is sometimes called one of the "Asian tigers." The economy of Malaysia relies on natural resources (Malaysia is rich in gas, oil, rare earth metals and tin ore), but at the same time, trade, tourism, science and medicine are actively developing. Therefore, the country is almost independent of sales of its energy resources in foreign markets.
Modern Malaysia, a country with a dynamic, diverse and flexible economy, has emerged due to the activities of its former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad. Today he is called a model of a politician, who combine a modern technocratic approach to governing the state and Muslim religious principles.
The basis for the development of the state was the "Malaysian plan," elaborated by Mahathir. Its main principle is the economy of "corporate nationalism", the essence of which is the creation of corporations in high-tech sectors of the economy. The purpose of such corporations is not profit, but work for the prosperity of the whole society.
In turn, the state becomes not a rival and not a regulator, but an equal partner of such corporations. During the 22 years of Mahathir's reign, such an approach brought tangible results. National companies of a modern type were created; not only in the oil industry (for example, Petronas), but also in television (Astra satellite television service), auto-building (Proton) and many others. Malaysia is a developed center of Islamic banking. Malaysia is a major exporter of electrical engineering and information and communication technology products (the world's first producer of electronic chips and domestic air conditioners). In 2002, the country launched its own space program. Tourism has become the third largest source of income from foreign exchange and accounted for 7% of the country's economy.
The country attracts tourists with its national parks, which are located mainly in the eastern part of the country. In addition, having a significant length of the coastline, Malaysia is famous for its untouched beaches and convenient places for diving.
Between 1988 and 1997, the country's economic growth averaged 10% per year, and the standard of living increased 20-fold. At the same time, Malaysia managed to overcome poverty. And the capital of Kuala Lumpur is an example of a modern developed metropolis with modern architecture and rich cultural life.
Mahathir Mohamad created an idea of integrating Muslim countries and forming their common market. During the 1997 financial crisis that hit Asia, Mahathir resolutely refused the assistance of the International Monetary Fund, saying that Malaysia would be able to cope with the crisis on its own. A few months later, representatives of the IMF publicly recognized the rightness of the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The government established free market relations and gave free rein to the private sector. The system of doing business is very loyal: there are a number of benefits for investors, especially local ones. In addition, the state provides subsidies. However, there is a clear control that does not allow monopolizing production and setting inflated prices for goods and services. Innovative technologies are introduced into production and at the same time, a system of free, fair competition operates. Multi-billion foreign loans played an important role in the development of the state in the 21st century.
Malaysia has significantly reduced the level of grassroots corruption through the development of a unique state system. The citizens could choose not only officials, but even the monarch - the Supreme Ruler. The candidate for this position is nominated by the sultans and rajas, who head the nine states of the country.
Malaysia is considered the most democratic among Muslim countries. At the same time, Western experts note that some social norms remain rather rigid. For example, in Malaysia, as in other Muslim countries, any public criticism of Islam is banned. Issues related to divorce and inheritance are decided by Muslims in the Sharia courts, and secular courts have no right to review their decisions. Malaysia is in the last places in the freedom of press ratings.
The development of Malaysia is accompanied by its problems. For example, the national currency - ringgit - is very unstable, and Prime Minister Najib Razak is accused of corruption.
Six years after the "jasmine revolution," Tunisia is the only democracy that arose after the "Arab spring." However, fragile power needs to overcome economic stagnation and terrorism. The dictatorship of Ben Ali was overthrown in 2011, but the established democratic government cannot cope with economic problems yet. Almost a third of young Tunisians do not have a job, and they lose patience because of the slow progress of the new government. Neighboring Libya - formerly the largest trading partner of Tunisia - is in a state of collapse, and tourism has declined by 35% after the terrorist attacks carried out by Islamist extremists.
Tunisia is an agrarian-industrial country, whose economy is based on agriculture. The second place in national income belongs to tourism, the third – to the light industry, mainly textile. Tunisia ranks fourth in the world on exports of olives and olive oil. There are more than 50 million olive trees in the country. Tunisia provides up to 10% of world production of olive oil, but Tunisia does not produce enough amount of the other agricultural products and is forced to import them. Large deposits of phosphorites are developed by state-owned companies. Oil production is 5 million tons, it provides domestic needs of the country and gives up to 40% of export earnings.
In 2015, an ambitious development plan was laid: to achieve a five-percent annual growth, focusing on investment and trade. At present, growth is one percent, but there is a reason for optimism. The International Monetary Fund has approved a $ 2.9 billion loan for Tunisia, related to the market reforms, including the reduction of the public sector and the development of private entrepreneurship.
One of the main challenges to economic reforms after the revolution is Tunisia's inability to create a long-term government. At the same time, Tunisia has passed through a difficult transition period much easier than other Arab countries. Neither elections, nor two high-profile political murders, nor the subsequent confrontation between secularists and Islamists in 2013 led to bloodshed and waves of violence (similar to those that engulfed Yemen, Libya, and Syria). The military did not seize power, and the Islamist party An-Nahda, which won the majority in the first parliamentary elections, then made concessions to other parties, and subsequently abandoned political Islam altogether and announced its new credo - a secular policy with religious roots. The key figure that balanced the situation was the coalition government. The current president of Tunisia, Beji Caid Essebsi, is a technocrat and founder of the secular party Nidaa Tounes. The Economist declared Tunisia the only Middle Eastern democracy.
The problem of terrorism is now one of the most important issues in the country. Tunisian members of the Islamic State group killed nearly 60 tourists in 2015. Since then, vacationers avoid Tunisia. To heal the wounds, the authorities doubled the security measures. Police patrol every street in the capital of Tunisia. New fences are being built on the border with Libya, which has become a training camp for Tunisian extremists. President Essebsi says that the fight against terrorism annually takes about four billion dollars, which is 8% of the country's GDP.
After two large-scale terrorist attacks in the spring and summer of 2015, Tunisia received the status of the main US ally outside NATO, and US assistance to maintain security was increased to $ 100 million in 2016. The fight against terrorism is a double-edged sword for Tunisian democracy, because the funds allocated for education, improving infrastructure, developing the periphery and creating jobs for young people go for fighting against terrorism. Reforms are postponed, and freedom of speech is limited.
The Inca country is not distinguished by any phenomenal economic or social indicators, but stands above Ukraine in all ratings. The seventh ten is Peru's favorite place in most indexes.
Peru is an agrarian country with a developed mining and developing manufacturing industry. Mining is one of the most important branches of the economy. Andes are rich in non-ferrous metals and gold, and areas bordering on Colombia are rich in silver. In 1991, the government of the country adopted a number of new rules and taxes that simplified obtaining the necessary licenses and giving certain advantages to companies engaged in large-scale mining. After that, the volume of mining activities in Peru began to grow rapidly. At present, the export of minerals is the key sector of the country's economy. Peru ranks sixth in gold production in the world, the third in copper production, and it is among the five largest producers of lead and zinc.
The extraction of mineral resources in Peru is approximately 75% owned by foreign companies (Barrick Gold, Anglo American, Sandvik, Caterpillar and others). Large investments from abroad are explained by the openness of the Peruvian market economy, government guarantees, free circulation of finance, free return of capital and profits from Peru to the investor's country, etc.
Although 40% of the economically active population are employed in agriculture, agricultural production accounts for about 10% of GDP. But the service sector takes more than 60% of GDP. Tourists come here to see Machu Picchu, the ancient capital of Cuzco, Lake Titicaca.
Peru's GDP is higher than Ukraine's and GDP per capita is almost 13 thousand dollars, which is one third more than in Ukraine. However, almost half of the population lives below the poverty line. The fact is that about a hundred different Indian tribes, who are poorly involved in the economic life of the country, live in Amazonian region and mountains. Although they are already largely assimilated and often speak Spanish. By the way, human development index (HDI) is the weakest spot of Peru. Although even with the factor of the tribes, the HDI of this country is the same as that of Ukraine, the European country.
After a series of military coups, in recent years political stability has been observed in Peru. The presidents change; the current one, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, leader of the Peruvians for Change party, took office last year. The Prime Minister of Peru, Fernando Zavala, a neo-liberal technocrat, supports innovative development of the country. In addition to six parliamentary blocs and parties, there are more than ten legal parties, at least four Communist parties, as well as several communist guerrilla groups.
Judicial power in the country is not considered completely independent, corruption is also widespread.