The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranked 17th on the seventh edition of the Economic Freedom of the World survey published by the US-based Cato Institute, in conjunction with the Fraser Institute of Canada.
Rating 123 countries for 2001, the survey awarded the UAE 7.5 points on the economic freedom index compared to top scorer Hong Kong with 8.6. The country ranked 12th globally for Size of Government Expenditures, Taxes and Enterprises and 38th for Legal Structure and Security of Property Rights.
For the Access to Sound Money category, the UAE ranked 39th and 21st for Freedom to Exchange with Foreigners. For Regulation of Credit the country placed 29th and the rating for Credit Market Regulations was 64th.
The ranking has placed the UAE in the same class as countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
"Dubai has taken the lead in encouraging foreign investment, while Abu Dhabi is spearheading the privatisation of utilities and seeking foreign investment in some sectors of the economy, particularly the power industry, to bring in modern technology and management techniques and reduce cost," explained the report. The study also said that that the UAE has a low level of protectionism in its trade policy, very low tax rates and moderate level of government expenditure.
According to the report, the key ingredients of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and the protection of person and property. Using 38 variables for each country, the report measures the institutions essential to ensuring the rule of law, property rights, freedom to trade, sensible regulation, and reasonably sized government. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )