FNF Economic Freedom Report
Global Economic Freedom up Slightly
Lebanon Ranks 78 Among 159 Countries
24th November, 2017
Beirut, Lebanon – Lebanon ranks 78 out of 159 countries and territories included in the latest Economic Freedom of the World: 2017 Annual Report, released on the 25th of September by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) in conjunction with Canada’s Fraser Institute. The report is based on data collected from 2015 and measures the economic freedom levels of 159 countries and territories.
In light of the Syrian crisis next door, lower tourism flows and notably, the ongoing turmoil in neighboring countries, Lebanon now faces major challenges locally and regionally to maintain high levels of economic freedom, which essentially looks at rule of law, freedom of personal choice, ability to enter markets, security of privately owned property…
The top two ranks in the report are occupied by Hong Kong and Singapore respectively, with countries like New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Australia and Estonia following through the top 10.
For Lebanon, the following are the key components of economic freedom (a higher value indicates a higher level of economic freedom):
- Size of government: changed to 8.31 from 8.22 in the last year’s report
- Legal system and property rights: changed to 4.05 from 3.91
- Access to sound money: changed to 9.57 from 9.71
- Freedom to trade internationally: changed to 6.89 from 6.77
- Regulation of credit, labor and business: changed to 5.72 from 5.86.
Countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties and even have longer lives. Mr. Fred McMahon, from the Fraser Institute agrees: “Where people are free to pursue their own opportunities and make their own choices, they lead more prosperous, happier and healthier lives.”
In comparison to other Arab countries and according to the available comparable data, Lebanon remains at the bottom of the list, with the United Arab Emirates occupying the 37th place, Jordan the 39th, and Qatar the 45th, making them three of the freest economies in the MENA. The rating of these countries ranges from a low of 7.38 to a high of 7.50. On the other hand, Algeria falls in the 156th place, Libya the 154th, and Syria the 153rd.
The Report is part of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom’s work on advocating for free market economies and individual freedom. Dr. René Klaff, FNF MENA Regional Director states that “We work hand in hand with our local partners to create awareness about the importance of economic freedom, while identifying further steps to enhance investment and the business environment.”
About the Economic Freedom Index
Economic Freedom of the World measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries support economic freedom. This year’s publication ranks 159 countries and territo- ries. The report also updates data in earlier reports in instances where data has been revised. For more information on the Economic Freedom Network, datasets, and previous Economic Freedom of the World reports, visit www.fraserinstitute.org. And you can ‘Like’ the Economic Freedom Network on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EconomicFreedomNetwork.