Gulf Countries

Bahrain Continues to Lead MENA Region in Economic Freedom for Third Consecutive Year

For the third year running, Bahrain has emerged as the top performer in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in terms of trade, investment, and financial freedom, as per the latest 2024 Index of Economic Freedom by The Heritage Foundation, a renowned think tank based in Washington.

Scoring higher than both global and regional averages in economic freedom, Bahrain has shown significant improvement on the global scale, climbing 14 positions compared to the previous year.

Nada Al Saeed, Chief of Strategy at Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), emphasized the importance of economic freedom in driving progress and sustainable growth. She stated, “Sound regulatory environments and market openness are crucial for achieving economic advancement.”

She further added, “Securing top rankings in key indices of the Heritage Foundation reaffirms Bahrain’s position as a financially liberal and open regional hub for trade. Maintaining these standings remains a top priority for Bahrain EDB to ensure continued attractiveness for investment.”

The 2024 Index evaluates 184 economies based on weighted scores and a thorough analysis of macroeconomic data across four pillars: rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency, and open markets.

Bahrain demonstrated strength across multiple pillars, showcasing a streamlined, transparent investment framework that offers easy access to a wide array of financial services for both domestic and foreign investors.

Benefiting from a well-established regulatory environment, Bahrain’s business freedom and monetary freedom scores surpassed the global average.

According to The Heritage Foundation’s 2024 report, despite global economic challenges, Bahrain maintains its status as a dynamic business hub, sustained by its competitive regulatory environment and openness to global commerce.

The report also highlights the importance of further enhancing economic freedom by strengthening the rule of law and fiscal policies to support Bahrain’s ongoing evolution.

With a rich history as a trading center, Bahrain has consistently worked towards diversifying its economy and fostering a business-friendly environment. It has prioritized developing a robust, digitally driven economy and has been at the forefront of implementing regulatory policies and legislative frameworks to enhance its international competitiveness.

Over the past two decades, Bahrain has achieved impressive economic growth, averaging an annual growth rate of 8%, exceeding the global average of 5%. This growth is reflected in the nominal GDP, which has surged from approximately $10 billion in 2002 to over $44 billion in 2022.

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