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Economic Freedom of the Arab World: 2008 Annual Report

Kuwait and Lebanon are the most economically free Arab nations, according to the Economic Freedom of the Arab World: 2008 Annual Report. The report was released in Doha, Qatar, on November 5 by the Fraser Institute of Canada in cooperation with the International Research Foundation of Oman and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty.

It’s the second year in a row Kuwait was ranked first, while Lebanon was ranked third last year. The two nations each scored 7.7 on the overall economic freedom index. They were followed closely by Oman (7.6), Jordan (7.5), Saudi Arabia (7.4), the United Arab Emirates (7.3) and Yemen (7.1).

Economic freedom is based on the cornerstones of personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of private property. Research shows that individuals living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy higher levels of prosperity, greater individual freedoms, and longer life spans.

The Economic Freedom of the Arab World: 2008 Annual Report compares and ranks Arab nations in five economic freedom areas: size of government; commercial and economic law and security of property rights; access to sound money; freedom to trade internationally, and the regulation of credit, labor, and business.

Economic Freedom of the Arab World: 2008 Annual Report

The report has been published since 2005 and is an outgrowth of the Fraser Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of the World report, which ranks the economic freedom levels of 141 nations around the globe.

The report measures at least some areas of economic freedom in 22 nations: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen.

However, data limitations allowed calculation of the overall level of economic freedom only for Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, West Bank and Gaza and Yemen. The rankings are entirely based on third party data. The full data sets are available at

Free copies of the report available in English and Arabic: For a free copy of this report which is available both in English and in Arabic, please send an email to and add your full name and postal address.

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