The Canadian think tank, Fraser Institute, has released their report on economic freedom in the Arab World, placing Lebanon in fifth position, along with Oman. According to the think tank, economic freedom centers around the size of government, commercial and economic law and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally and regulation of credit, labor, and business. Lebanon outperforms major economies like Qatar and Saudi Arabia but falls behind Jordan and Kuwait.

Arab Ranking

Here is the ranking and score (over 10) according to the Fraser Institute which used 2010 data to compile the list:

1. Bahrain and United Arab Emirates (8.1)

3. Jordan (7.9)

4. Kuwait (7.8)

5. Lebanon and Oman (7.6)

7. Qatar (7.4)

8. Saudi Arabia (7.3)

9. Yemen (7.2)

10. Comoros and Tunisia (6.8)

12. Egypt (6.7)

13. Djibouti (6.6)

14. Morocco (6.5)

15. Syria (6.2)

16. Mauritania (6.0)

17. Algeria (5.7)

Improved Ranking

The report doesn’t seem to go into specifics of what exactly gives Lebanon its current ranking only that the country has improved since last year by 0.1 and that 2011 data shows that the ranking is expected to remain stable. According to the information found in the report, Lebanon benefits from a government that is largely outside private economic life and has access to sound money. The problem apparently lies in Lebanon’s freedom to trade particularly the tariff system and scales it uses.

Sunday Souq, Beirut, Lebanon

Sunday Souq, Beirut, Lebanon
–By craigfinlay via flickr–

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