Creating Opportunity for All ... Is It Possible?

Highlights of FNF MENA 2018
News11.12.2018Hend Shaheen
Economic Freedom of the Arab World Report 2018

For the 13th year in a row, the launch of the Economic Freedom of the Arab World Report 2018 comes this year entitled "Opportunity for All through Economic Freedom" aiming to identifying barriers to more economic opportunities, determine the needed policy fixes while finding ways to communicate them to the public and policy makers, as well as pinpointing strategies for future implementation.

More focus was given to the Jordanian context, best practices and challenges as the Jordanian capital, Amman, has hosted the conference in cooperation with the Young Entrepreneurs Association.

According to the 2018 report, which is co-published by the Fraser Institute, International Research Foundation and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates tied for the top spot as the most economically free countries in the Arab world each with a score of 8 out of 10, while Jordan came third with a score of 7.9. The least economically free countries this year were Algeria (#20), Syria (#21), and Libya (#22)

Azzan Busaidi IRF EFAW2018

The results of the Arab countries [in the different components] are above average, but there is a lot that decision-makers can change, so it would lead to larger investments. Foreign direct investments will increase when economic freedoms increase.

Azzan al-Busaidi, head of the International Research Foundation in Oman

H.E. Dr. Yusuf Mansur, former Minister of State for Economic Affairs in Jordan, gave the keynote speech on means of providing better economic opportunities for all citizens in Jordan through enhancing economic freedom, in the presence of economic experts, business owners and representatives of civil society organizations from Jordan and around the world, such as Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Canada, Oman and others.

H.E. Dr. Yusuf Mansur, former Minister of State for Economic Affairs in Jordan

The biggest challenge facing Jordan today is transforming from a semi-rentier state to a productive state, and more importantly to reduce its government size. This won’t be accomplished except through improving the doing business environment in a way that attracts employees from the public to the private sector.

H.E. Dr. Yusuf Mansur, former Minister of State for Economic Affairs in Jordan

Aiming to stipulate the most practical recommendations in order to improve the Arab countries’ ranks in the field of economic freedom, a series of sessions and lectures on relevant topics were held during the conference tackling issues including regulations governing business and employment, the educational system and vocational trainings and how to create better economic opportunities, credit market regulations, as well as improving the rule of law and combating corruption.

Economic freedom for all is the solution to unleash the drive and ingenuity of the whole population. That would power Arab nations into a new era of prosperity and opportunity. If these opportunities were open to all, an economic miracle would unfold in the Arab World. The 2019 Economic Freedom of the Arab World aims to find ways to remove barriers to opportunity and better lives.