A survey measuring the openness of 157 countries' economies says Asian nations have the freest and the most restrictive economies.
The report by the conservative Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Foundation says Hong Kong and Singapore lead the world in opening trade and investment opportunities, regulating businesses and protecting property rights.
However, China and India's fast-growing economies ranked among the "mostly unfree" countries, with Beijing's policies ranked at 111 and India's position at 121.
Burma, Laos and North Korea were listed as among the most restrictive economies. North Korea finished last in the survey at 157, and Burma ranked just above Iran at 155.
Laos is number 149 on the list. The index said that overall the world is economically freer today than it was one year ago.
Information for this report is provided by AP.