– KINGDOM RANKS IN TOP 10 FREEST ECONOMIES FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR ACCORDING TO FRASER INSTITUTE –
Bahrain is the eighth most economically free nation in the world, according to the Economic Freedom of the World: 2013 Annual Report published by the Fraser Institute, a leading international think tank. This is the second consecutive year Bahrain has ranked in the top ten.
The index measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom. Bahrain achieved an overall score of 7.93 out of 10, putting the country nine places ahead of the United States, which is ranked 17th, and 25 places ahead of Japan, which is ranked 33rd. The other top 10 nations are: Hong Kong, 8.97; Singapore, 8.73; New Zealand, 8.59; Switzerland, 8.30; United Arab Emirates, 8.07; Mauritius, 8.01; Finland, 7.91; Canada, 7.93; and Australia, 7.88. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain led the rankings in the GCC, followed by Qatar, 7.62; Oman, 7.31; Kuwait, 7.22; and Saudi Arabia, 7.14.
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.”
Other recent reports have also highlighted Bahrain’s economic strengths. Earlier this year, Bahrain was ranked first place in the Middle East and 12th place worldwide in the 2013 Wall Street Journal / Heritage Foundation Economic Freedom Index.
The Fraser Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of the World 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.
Notes to editors
About The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB)
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is a dynamic public agency with an overall responsibility for attracting inward investment into Bahrain, and is focusing on target economic sectors in which the Kingdom offers significant strengths.
Key areas of focus include manufacturing, ICT, and logistics and transport services as well as other sub-sectors. The Financial Services sector in Bahrain is particularly strong and the EDB supports in the continuing growth of the banking industry and key sub-sectors, including Islamic Finance, Asset Management, Insurance and Re-Insurance.
For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit www.bahrainedb.com; for information about Bahrain visit www.bahrain.com
Noora Abul, Bahrain Economic Development Board
Tel: +973 17 589 903