A programme of changes in the direction of moving towards a free-market economy. This normally includes the reduction of direct controls on both internal and international transactions, and a shift towards relying on the price mechanism to coordinate economic activities. In such a programme less use is made of licences, permits, and price controls, and there is more reliance on prices to clear markets. It also involves a shift away from exchange controls and multiple exchange rates, towards a convertible currency. The extent to which an economy is liberalized can vary greatly since liberalization is a matter of degree. See also trade liberalization.