Bahrain ranks 1st in MENA for financial, investment, and trade freedom

Manama, May 15 (BNA): For the second year in a row, Bahrain ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa region in terms of financial, investment and commercial freedom on the Index of Economic Freedom for the year 2023 issued by the Heritage Foundation.

The kingdom scored an economic freedom score of 62.5 (out of 100), an improvement of 0.5 from last year, and the score places Bahrain’s economy at the 68th freest place on the 2023 index.

Bahrain ranks fourth out of 14 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, and its overall score exceeds the regional and world averages of 56.8 and 59.3, respectively.

In the Economic Freedom Index 2023 report, Bahrain is highlighted as a financial center for dynamic economic activity and openness to global trade, supported by a competitive and effective regulatory environment. In addition, the results revealed that the general framework for investment in the Kingdom is positive and transparent, with equal treatment for both domestic and foreign investors.

“Bahrain’s high rating is a reflection of the government’s success in maintaining a progressive regulatory framework that provides high-return opportunities for investors due to the favorable tax environment, ease of doing business, and unparalleled access to the $2.07 trillion GCC market and beyond. Highly skilled, maintaining this liberal economic environment is a key differentiator in Bahrain’s value proposition as we continue to be guided by the National Economic Recovery Plan and work to attract additional investment into the Kingdom,” said Nada Al Saeed, Chief Strategy Officer, Bahrain. Bahrain Economic Development Board, he said.

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As part of the Strategic National Vision, which has successfully launched multiple projects, the National Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) aims to enhance Bahrain’s long-term competitiveness and achieve fiscal balance by 2024. Good jobs and training opportunities for Bahrainis and attract foreign direct investment worth more than 2.5 billion dollars by 2023 across key sectors.

The Index of Economic Freedom focuses on four key aspects of the economic and entrepreneurial environment that are typically controlled by governments, namely the rule of law, size of government, regulatory efficiency, and market openness. In assessing conditions across these four categories, the index measures 12 specific components of economic freedom, each rated on a scale from 0 to 100. Scores on these 12 components of economic freedom are computed from a number of subvariables and then weighted and averaged equal to produce a score of economic freedom total for each economy.

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