UAE jumps 18 positions in global Economic Freedom index

Zero income tax, low tariffs, and ease of starting a business are among the factors that pushed the country's ranking



by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 11 Sep 2022, 6:13 PM

Last updated: Sun 11 Sep 2022, 7:21 PM

The UAE has seen a massive jump of 18 positions in its ranking in the Economic Freedom of the World Report 2022, thanks to the easing of restrictions and the introduction of new visas that have both made the country highly attractive for foreign investors.

The study, released by Fraser Institute, ranked the UAE 49th among 165 countries, as compared to the 67th position in the previous report.

The UAE offers investors and expatriates one of the highest levels of economic freedom in the Middle East. Regionally, Bahrain (39th) topped the list, followed by Jordan (46th). The UAE and Israel jointly shared the 49th position.

The country's ranking has been climbing steadily for the past two years, reaching 7.35 out of 10 points: its highest ever.

It has been ranked high for its low licensing restrictions, ease of access to private sector credit, financial openness, zero income tax, ease of starting a business, freedom to own foreign currency bank accounts, low tariffs, low regulatory restrictions on the sale of real property, low inflation, the non-existence of black market exchange rates, and the highly friendly hiring regulations, among others.

A host of measures have been adopted in the country for the ease of doing business. Abu Dhabi, for example, has reduced the fees needed for setting up and renewing business licences by more than 94 per cent, cancelling over 71 per cent of requirements to set up businesses and simplifying several other procedures.

Similarly, Dubai, the region’s financial capital, also took several similar measures to facilitate the ease of doing business.

Globally, Hong Kong retained its top position in the index, according to the Economic Freedom of the World report 2022. The next highest-scoring nations are Singapore, Switzerland, New Zealand, Denmark, Australia, the US, Estonia, Mauritius, and Ireland.

Among the other major countries, Japan has been ranked 12th, Canada at 14th, Germany at 25th, France at 54th, India at 89th, Russia at 94th and China at 116th.

The 10 lowest-rated countries are DR Congo, Algeria, the Republic of Congo, Iran, Libya, Argentina, Syria, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and Venezuela.

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