The global index ranks property right protections in 129 countries, covering 98% of world GDP and 94% of the world population
MANILA, 16 October 2019 – Property Rights Alliance has released the 2019 International Property Rights Index in partnership with the Foundation for Economic Freedom and Minimal Government Thinkers in the Philippines. The Index measures the strength of physical property rights, intellectual property rights, and the legal and political environments that enforce them.
In the report, Malaysia’s score in the index has risen by 0.131 to 6.623, placing it on the 32nd spot in the global index. This is up two spots from last year.
Only a tenth of the world’s people live in 15 countries with the strongest protections of property rights. These are also some of the wealthiest countries in the world. In fact, countries in the top quintile of the Index have a per capita income 16 times greater than those at the bottom.
Property rights are a key ingredient for economic and social prosperity. “Poor property rights ecosystems,” writes economist Hernando de Soto, keep “six billion people and their $9.3 billion in capital locked out of the formal economy.”
Lorenzo Montanari, the Executive Director of Property Rights Alliance, said “property rights are human rights, without them, people are restrained in how they act, how they speak, and how they participate in the economy.”
Secure property rights have robust correlations with other indicators of economic freedom and social well-being. If people are confident their property is safe: that they can purchase, sell, and value their properties in a free marketplace – it invites entrepreneurship, reduces corruption, increases civic participation, and raises long term investment in research & development.
Finland remains 1st overall in the protection of property rights, experiences a slight decrease in the legal and political environment.
The United States experienced increases in all categories and moves passed Denmark and the United Kingdom on the way from 14th to 12th in property rights protections overall. The United States leads the world in copyright and patent intellectual property protections.
South Africa continues its steep decline from 26th in 2017 to 48th in 2019. Last year the RSA saw the steepest drop (-.65 points) this year it experienced the second-largest drop (-.27 points), behind Rwanda (-.29) and before Qatar (-.25), for continued land expropriation without compensation plans.
In Asia, increases in property rights, notably by China (36%), Indonesia (30%), and the Philippines (20%) since the Index began in 2007 have helped billions reach moderate levels of protection.
Meanwhile in Malaysia, the IPRI score increased by 0.131 to 6.623 placing it 7th in the Asia and Oceania region and 32nd in the world, up two spot from last year.
MALAYSIA’s Legal and Political Subindex score increased by 0.104 to 5.817 with scores of 6.672 in Judicial Independence, 5.828 in Rule of Law, 5.052 in Control of Corruption, and 5.716 in Political Stability.
MALAYSIA’s Physical Property Rights Subindex increased by 0.157 to 7.814 with scores of 7.662 in Perception of Property Rights Protection, 9.595 in Registering Property, and 6.184 in Ease of Access to Loans.
MALAYSIA’s Intellectual Property Rights Subindex score increased by 0.133 to 6.239 with scores of 7.367 in Perception of Intellectual Property Protection, 6.45 in Patent Protection, and 4.9 in Copyright Protection.
While the trade war between China and the United States has drawn attention to the importance of intellectual property rights, the IP gap remains the same. Western Europe and North American continue to lead the world in intellectual property protections with an average score of 39 per cent greater than the rest of the world.
Closing this gap is “key to transitioning from an extractive economy to one that competes in products and services only limited by the human imagination,” said Montanari, “too often valuable ideas and art are stolen while governments turn a blind eye, or indeed participate” he said.
Commenting on the report, IDEAS CEO, Ali Salman said “The improvement in Malaysia’s ranking is very encouraging. It shows that the government is taking necessary steps to strengthen the rule of law as well as the protection of property rights in Malaysia. I hope these efforts will continue.
The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), is a partner organization for the Index. To download the report log on to https://www.internationalpropertyrightsindex.org/.