2013 Index of Economic Freedom

Mali

overall score56.4
world rank111
Rule of Law

Property Rights30.0

Freedom From Corruption28.0

Limited Government

Government Spending83.9

Fiscal Freedom69.6

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom50.1

Labor Freedom64.6

Monetary Freedom79.9

Open Markets

Trade Freedom73.2

Investment Freedom45.0

Financial Freedom40.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 15.9 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $17.9 billion
    • 2.7% growth
    • 4.4% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $1,128 per capita
  • Unemployment:
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 3.1%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $177.8 million
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Mali’s economic freedom score is 56.4, making its economy the 111th freest in the 2013 Index. Its score has increased by 0.6 point from last year, mainly reflecting gains in fiscal freedom and the control of government spending that outweigh declines in investment freedom and labor freedom. Mali is ranked 17th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its score is below the world average.

Mali has instituted some regulatory reforms over the past year to enhance the entrepreneurial environment. In particular, it has moved to install a “one-stop” business registration system and ease the requirements for securing capital. However, these reforms have been undercut by ongoing political instability.

Overall institutional weaknesses continue to limit the economy’s dynamism and perpetuate the stagnation of economic freedom. Corruption continues to undermine the rule of law, and this is exacerbated by an inefficient judicial system that remains vulnerable to political influence. Free trade and investment have not been fully institutionalized, and tariffs and other restrictions inhibit individuals and businesses from participating efficiently in the global economy.

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Background

Mali was a one-party socialist state until 1992. Retired General Amadou Toumani Touré, head of state during the transition to democracy, was elected president in 2002 and re-elected in 2007. In March 2012, he was overthrown in a coup. Tensions continue between the government and Tuareg tribes in northern Mali over land, cultural, and linguistic rights, and the junta lacks a coherent strategy for national governance. Ansar Dine, an Islamist group affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, holds sway in the North. Located in the heart of the Sahel, Mali is arid. Agriculture (mostly subsistence farming), livestock, and fishing in the Niger River employ 70 percent of the population and account for about a third of GDP. Cotton is a key export. Mining is growing, but mineral resources are generally underexploited, and infrastructure remains inadequate.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 30.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Freedom From Corruption 28.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Mali’s already-fragile rule of law has suffered from the instability generated by the return of thousands of well-armed Tuareg fighters who had served in the security forces of former Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi. In theory, property rights are protected and the judiciary is constitutionally independent, but Mali’s judicial system is considered notoriously inefficient and corrupted by bribery and influence-peddling.

Limited GovernmentView Methodology

The top income tax rate is 40 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 35 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT). Overall tax revenue amounts to 14.6 percent of total domestic income, and government spending has decreased to 23.2 percent of GDP. The budget has been chronically in deficit, and public debt has reached a level equal to about 30 percent of GDP.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

Despite past efforts to dismantle bureaucratic hurdles to starting a business, commercial regulations have been neither implemented nor enforced effectively. Economic diversification has lagged, and much private-sector activity takes place outside of the formal economy. Labor regulations, although not fully enforced, are relatively rigid. Inflation is under control.

Open MarketsView Methodology

The trade-weighted average tariff rate is a fairly high 8.4 percent, and non-tariff barriers further increase the cost of trade. The investment regime remains severely hampered by instability and government interference. The financial sector remains underdeveloped. With financial intermediation minimal, banks lack the capacity to provide adequate access to financing. Much of the population relies on informal lending.

Country's Score Over Time

Bar Graph of Mali Economic Freedom Scores Over a Time Period

Country Comparisons

Bar Graphs comparing Mali to other economic country groups

Regional Ranking

rank country overall change
1Mauritius76.9-0.1
2Botswana70.61.0
3Rwanda64.1-0.8
4Cape Verde63.70.2
5Madagascar62-0.4
6South Africa61.8-0.9
7Ghana61.30.6
8Uganda61.1-0.8
9Namibia60.3-1.6
10Burkina Faso59.9-0.7
11The Gambia58.80.0
12Zambia58.70.4
13Tanzania57.90.9
14Gabon57.81.4
15Benin57.61.9
16Swaziland57.20.0
17Mali56.40.6
18Kenya55.9-1.6
19Senegal55.50.1
20Malawi55.3-1.1
21Nigeria55.1-1.2
22Mozambique 55-2.1
23Seychelles54.91.9
24Côte d'Ivoire 54.1-0.2
25Djibouti53.90.0
26Niger53.9-0.4
27Cameroon52.30.5
28Mauritania52.3-0.7
29Guinea51.20.4
30Guinea-Bissau51.11.0
31Central African Republic50.40.1
32Ethiopia49.4-2.6
33Liberia49.30.7
34Burundi490.9
35Togo48.80.5
36Sierra Leone48.3-0.8
37São Tomé and Príncipe 48-2.2
38Lesotho47.91.3
39Comoros47.51.8
40Angola47.30.6
41Chad45.20.4
42Republic of Congo 43.5-0.3
43Equatorial Guinea42.3-0.5
44Democratic Republic of Congo39.6-1.5
45Eritrea36.30.1
46Zimbabwe28.62.3
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