MENA countries post mixed performance in 2014 Index of Economic Freedom

By bne IntelliNews January 15, 2014

MENA countries reported a mixed performance in the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom prepared by the US-based Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal as some states improved their rankings and others lost several spots. The score is on a scale from 0 (least free) to 100 (most free). Bahrain remained the region's best performer ranking 13th worldwide out of 178 countries. Bahrain’s economic freedom score is 75.1. Its overall score decreased 0.4 point due to slight deteriorations in labour freedom, trade freedom, and freedom from corruption.

Bahrain, however, continues to be the freest economy in the MENA region, and its economic freedom score is well above the world average. The UAE ranked second in MENA and 28th worldwide. Egypt and Algeria bottomed the list at the 135th and 146th places respectively. No rankings or scores were available for Iraq and Syria.

Saudi Arabia topped the list of gainers, improving 1.9 points from the 2013 index despite ranking 77th. Egypt was the biggest loser, dropping 1.9 points. 

MENA's economic freedom index for 2014
Country Ranking Score Change from 2013
Bahrain 13 75,1 -0,4
UAE 28 71,4 0,3
Qatar 30 71,2 -0,1
Jordan 39 69,2 -1,2
Oman 48 67,4 -0,7
Kuwait 76 62,3 -0,8
Saudi Arabia 77 62,2 1,6
Lebanon 96 59,4 -0,1
Morocco 103 58,3 -1,3
Tunisia 109 57,3 0,3
Egypt 135 52,9 -1,9
Algeria 146 50,8 1,2
Iraq na na na
Syria na na na
Source: Heritage Foundation  

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