x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

The UAE is again among Arab world’s economically freest nations, report says

The UAE is among the Arab world’s economically freest nations for the second year in a row, a report says, although its rating has declined slightly from last year.

View of downtown Abu Dhabi from Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi. The UAE has an overall ranking of eight out of 10 in the institute’s Economic Freedom of the Arab World survey this year. Silvia Razgova / The National
View of downtown Abu Dhabi from Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi. The UAE has an overall ranking of eight out of 10 in the institute’s Economic Freedom of the Arab World survey this year. Silvia Razgova / The National

The UAE is among the Arab world’s economically freest nations for the second year in a row, a report says, although its rating has declined slightly from last year.

Bahrain, the UAE, and Jordan have the most economic freedom in the Middle East, according to a report by Canada’s Fraser Institute.

All three countries have an overall ranking of eight out of 10 in the institute’s Economic Freedom of the Arab World survey this year, which tracks five key economic measures.

The UAE and Bahrain shared top spot in the institute’s rankings last year with an 8.1 rating.

In the UAE’s case, its slight rating decline was caused by a dip in its score on its size of government to 7.8 from 7.9 last year, because of an increase in transfers and subsidies as a percentage of GDP.

Likewise, Bahrain’s rating was affected by a drop in its score for regulation of labour, credit and business to 8.8 from 8.9 last year.

Algeria had the lowest economic freedom ranking of 5.8 out of 10, followed by Iraq (6.1) and Mauritania (6.3).

The annual report is published in partnership with Germany’s Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty and the International Research Foundation of Oman.

It compares and ranks Arab nations in five economic areas: the size of government (including expenditures, taxes and enterprises); commercial and economic law and the security of property rights; access to money; freedom to trade internationally; and the regulation of credit, labour and business.

The UAE, the highest ranked Arab country in the report published in September, placed fifth behind Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Bahrain, the next highest ranking Arab country, was in eighth place, followed by Jordan (13), Qatar (23) and Lebanon (38).

jeverington@thenational.ae