UAE, Bahrain top in economic freedom
Dubai, September 23, 2013
The UAE and Bahrain are the most economically free nations in the Arab world, according to international think tank Fraser Institute’s annual report on Economic Freedom of the Arab World for 2013.
On a global scale, the UAE with an overall score of 8.07 out of 10 has been ranked 5th and Bahrain (with 7.93) the eighth most economically free nation in the world, putting the country nine places ahead of the US in the Fraser Institute’s report.
This is the second consecutive year Bahrain has ranked in the top ten among 151 countries and territories, said the international think tank.
The UAE and Bahrain led the GCC rankings followed by Qatar (7.62); Oman (7.31); Kuwait (7.22) and Saudi Arabia (7.14).
Globally, the average economic freedom score rose slightly to 6.87 out of 10 compared to 6.74 last year.
Commenting on the achievement, Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and acting chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said, “Bahrain’s ranking in the top ten freest economies in the world for the second year running is a testament to more than a decade of economic reforms that have been undertaken to improve prosperity in the Kingdom."
"The results of which have been strong economic growth, particularly in the non-oil economy, more jobs for Bahrainis and an open, attractive and supportive business environment from which companies can access the GCC market, now worth in excess of $1.4 trillion,” he stated.
Globally, Hong Kong once again topped the list with an overall score of 8.97 followed by Singapore (8.73); New Zealand (8.59); Switzerland (8.30); Mauritius (8.01); Finland (7.91); Canada (7.93) and Australia (7.88).
The Fraser Institute’s report is the premier measurement of economic freedom, using 42 distinct variables to create an index ranking of countries around the world based on policies that encourage economic freedom.
The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of private property. Economic freedom is measured in five different areas: (1) size of government, (2) legal structure and security of property rights, (3) access to sound money, (4) freedom to trade internationally, and (5) regulation of credit, labour, and business.
Research shows that people living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties, and longer life spans. The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of private property.
“The link between economic freedom and prosperity is undeniable: the nations with the most economic freedom also offer people the best quality of life. Compare the bottom-ranked countries, where oppressive regimes deny their citizens opportunities for economic growth and personal freedom,” McMahon said.
The annual Economic Freedom of the World report is produced by the Fraser Institute in cooperation with the Economic Freedom Network, a group of independent research and educational institutes in nearly 90 nations and territories worldwide.
It is the world’s premier measurement of economic freedom, using 42 distinct variables to create an index ranking countries around the world based on policies that encourage economic freedom.
The report notes that among the highest-ranked countries, the average income of the poorest 10 per cent of people was $10,556 (US) in 2011, compared to only $932 (US) for those living in the least free economies.
On average, the poorest 10 per cent of people in the freest nations are more than twice as prosperous as the average population of the countries with the least economic freedom.
The rankings of other large economies include: United States (17th), Germany (19th), Japan and South Korea (tied at 33rd), France (40th), Italy (83rd), Mexico (94th), Russia (101st), Brazil (102nd), India (111th), and China (123rd).-TradeArabia News Service
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