Bahrain, Jordan and the UAE are the most economically free nations in the Arab world, according to the annual Economic Freedom of the Arab World report published by the Fraser Institute, an independent Canadian public policy think-tank.
The report is published in partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF) and the International Research Foundation (IRF) of Oman.
The report highlights the Kingdom’s role as a major financial hub, and the Kingdom in particular scores highly in the rankings relating to the freedom to trade internationally and in the regulation of labor, credit, and business.
The report focuses on economic freedom’s role in increasing prosperity, creating jobs, and reducing poverty.
Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB Kamal bin Ahmed said: “Bahrain’s ranking reflects the Kingdom’s commitment to maintaining a liberal business environment and to strengthening its core business fundamentals, offering an attractive base for accessing the wider GCC market.”
The Economic Freedom of the Arab World report compares and ranks Arab nations in five areas of economic freedom: size of government, including expenditures, taxes, and enterprises; commercial and economic law and security of property rights; access to sound money; freedom to trade internationally; and regulation of credit, labor, and business.
With a mature, well-established business environment and a trusted and transparent legal and regulatory environment, Bahrain is uniquely positioned as the natural gateway to the GCC market, which is worth over $1.5 trillion. Bahrain is committed to sustaining and strengthening its core business fundamentals: a highly skilled workforce, stable and transparent regulation, an open business environment and sustainable growth.
In September 2013, Bahrain was ranked 8th out of 90 countries in the Fraser Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of the World report, and in January 2013, the annual Index of Economic Freedom, published by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, ranked Bahrain 12th out of 177 economies worldwide, and the only MENA country to rank in the top 20.