Bahrain Ranked Most Free Economy in Middle East

MANAMA — Bahrain has been ranked the 16th freest economy in the world, and the most free economy in the Middle East and North Africa region, in the annual Index of Economic Freedom published by the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal.

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Published: Thu 15 Jan 2009, 12:45 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:19 AM

Bahrain was the only Middle Eastern country to be ranked amongst the top 20 freest economies in the world and has been ranked first in the GCC for 15 years, since the launch of the Index in 1995.

Bahrain’s ranking of 16th was an improvement on its 2008 ranking of 19th.With an average total score of 74.8pc, Bahrain’s position in the top 20 puts it alongside Switzerland (9th), United Kingdom (10th) and Japan (19th) and ahead of Germany (25th), Spain (29th) and France (64th).

The Index of Economic Freedom 2009 ranked 179 countries across 10 areas of economic freedom — business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government size, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption and labour freedom. An overall average was then calculated from these scores.

Bahrain again scored highly in the business freedom, trade freedom and fiscal freedom categories and made a significant improvement in the area of labour freedom, improving its score from 40 in 2008 to 85.1 in 2009.

Bahrain scored well above the global average in a total of 9 out of 10 of the areas measured and equal to the average in the tenth.

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