Oman is ranked one of the world's top 30 countries for economic freedom, according to the 2011 Economic Freedom of the World Report published by the Fraser Institute, Canada's leading economic think tank.
The top spot in this year's report, which assesses 141 nations and uses 49 different measures, goes to Hong Kong, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland and Australia, said a press release from the Public Authority for Investment, Promotion and Export Development (Paiped).
The rankings for the Middle East include Bahrain 11th; UAE, 14th; Oman, 28th (up 15 places from 43rd from last year); Kuwait, 47th; Jordan 62nd; Israel 83rd; Egypt 93rd and Tunisia 94th. The 2011 report is based on data from 2009, the most recent year for which comprehensive information is available. In producing the annual peer-reviewed Economic Freedom of the World Report, the Fraser Institute works in cooperation with independent institutes in 75 nations and territories - including the Oman-based non-government, independent, non-profit think tank the International Research Foundation.
"The data used to construct the index ratings are from external sources such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the World economic Forum," said Salem bin Nasser Al Ismaily, chairman of Paiped. The report rates countries on a zero-to-ten scale. Higher scores indicate greater economic freedom. The overall index is based on ratings in five broad areas and these include: size of government; legal structure and security of property rights; access to sound money; freedom to trade internationally; and regulation of credit, labour and business.
According to the Report, Oman has seen marked improvements in three key areas - size of government (82nd in 2009 - 92nd in 2008); access to sound money (51st in 2009 - 68th in 2008); and regulating credit, labour and business (7th in 2009 - 13th in 2008). With regard legal structure and security of property rights Oman remains ranked 19th. And in freedom to trade internationally the sultanate slipped two places from 17th to 19th. Remarkable progress As a nation, the Sultanate has made remarkable progress. Data from 1985 gave us a report chain linked summary index ranking of 6.70. Today, Oman has climbed to 7.64 - a higher rating than Norway and the Netherlands. This is certainly cause for celebration," remarked Al Ismaily. "It is clear from the report that economic freedom is the key building block of the most prosperous nations around the world. Countries with high levels of economic freedom are those in which people enjoy high standards of living.
Moreover, 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," concluded Al Ismaily. Published in 1996, the first Economic Freedom of the World Report was the result of a decade of research by a team which included several Nobel Laureates and over 60 other leading scholars. drawn from economics, political science, law to philosophy.