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Arab Economic Freedom Conference to Convene in Marrakesh

"Economic Freedom and Entrepreneurship" is the title of the 10. Economic Freedom of the Arab World Conference which was held from December 04 to 06, 2015 in Marrakesh. The international conference was organized by the Regional Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF) in cooperation with the Fraser Institute of Canada, the International Research Foundation (IRF) of Oman and the Arab Center for Scientific Research and Humane Studies (ACSRHS) of Morocco.

The 2015 Economic Freedom of the Arab World Report was launched during the conference. United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan and Bahrain are the most economically free Arab countries, according to the report. Egypt is ranked 11 among the 21 nations surveyed.

Business leaders, creative entrepreneurs, economists, representatives of economic think tanks from the Arab world, Europe and North America came together for discussions on the findings of the 2015 report and the state of economic freedom in the Arab world. "Economic freedom is one of the main components of liberalism, and it is a prerequisite to achieve development, progress and prosperity" said Hani Abdel Malak, Program Director Egypt, FNF.

In his opening statement, Dr. Nouh El Harmouzi, Director of ACSRHS, stressed the important of entrepreneurship as the base to achieve transparent competitive free economy under the rule of law.

Fred McMahon, Michael Walker Chair of Economic Freedom Research, the Fraser Institute, highlighted the government's role to promote economic freedom through creating appropriate infrastructure and a level playing field by enforcing the rule of law and reasonable regulations.

In his key note speech, Hicham Zoubairi, former President of Centre des Jeunes Dirigeants d'Entreprise (CJD), Morocco, said that "Living in a society with high levels of economic freedom leads to: higher incomes, lower poverty, less unemployment, longer life expectancies, cleaner environments, and a higher quality of life".

During the conference, the participants discussed several issues among them the economic legislation and policies in the Arab World which aim at promoting entrepreneurship and their impact on economic growth; the relationship between free market economy, entrepreneurship and creating jobs; the role of education, civil society and private sector in promoting the culture of entrepreneurship and freelance economy and how to minimize state intervention in the economy.

Bridging Cairo Economic Panel Kunze

Bridging Cairo Economic Panel Kunze

Success stories of creative entrepreneurs were presented and the participants discussed the opportunities and challenges the entrepreneurs face. Young entrepreneurs should learn how to take risk and accept and deal with failure. The elements of motivating and encouraging environment for entrepreneurship include rule of law, fighting corruption, separation of powers, transparency, stability of laws and legislations and free movement of currency.

"Most MENA countries are investor unfriendly" said Dr. Mounir Rached, President, Lebanese Economic Association (LEA), Lebanon

The participants featured the importance of networking, capacity building, partnership and finance to promote entrepreneurship. Civil society should empower youth to enter the job market as qualified employees or as entrepreneurs and the educational system should support entrepreneurship and innovation.

The conference was held in the frame of the First Arab Liberty Festival which is organized by ACSRHS in partnership with ATLAS, Google, Fraser Institute and FNF from November 25 to December 06, 2015 in Marrakesh.

Download the 2015 Economic Freedom Report (English and Arabic) at:

Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty in Egypt :