Bahrain has been ranked 22nd in the Enabling Trade Index (ETI) 2010, improving its 2009 ranking by two places. The ETI, published today by the World Economic Forum, assesses countries across the globe on the institutions and policies they have in place to enable trade.
A total of 125 countries were ranked according to their performance across four areas: market access, border administration, transport and communications infrastructure, and the business environment.
Bahrain’s improved ranking was based on a strong performance across a number of key areas. The Kingdom was ranked 15th globally on efficient border administration and 27th in availability and use of ICTs. Bahrain also ranked highly in terms of the quality of its port infrastructure (17th), its airport infrastructure (20th) and regulatory environment (25th).
Shaikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) welcomed the improved ranking: “Bahrain has always been a trading nation. We continue to focus on improving ease of trade, both with our neighbours in the GCC and Middle East as well as with global trading partners in Europe, the Americas and across Asia.
“We are pleased that the hard work across the EDB and government departments has been recognised by Bahrain’s improved ranking in this year’s Enabling Trade Index. This will further reinforce Bahrain’s status as an attractive business location from which to access the trillion dollar GCC market. Creating the right business environment is a vital step towards making the private sector the engine of growth, a key element of our Vision 2030.”
Bahrain’s improved ranking in the ETI follows similar improvements in other global indices. In December 2009 the Kingdom was ranked as the 13th freest economy in the world, and the most free in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, by the Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom. Bahrain was the only economy in the MENA region to rank among the world’s top 20 for the 16th consecutive year since the launch of the Index in 1995.
The EDB, which has the responsibility for creating the right climate to attract foreign investment, is leading the process of Bahrain’s Vision 2030 under the guidance of His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain and Chairman of the EDB. The plans are designed to support further diversification of the economy and ultimately elevate national living standards by creating greater opportunities for Bahrainis.
Singapore and Hong Kong SAR continued to occupy the top two positions in the Enabling Trade Index ranking, followed by Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. UAE was the highest ranked national in the GCC at number 16.
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