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National economy 4th freest regionally, 39th globally

By Mohammad Ghazal - Sep 02,2014 - Last updated at Sep 02,2014

AMMAN — Jordan has been ranked 39th globally and 4th regionally on the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, witnessing a decline in its international standing and maintaining the same level regionally compared to last year’s index.

This year’s index, carried out by the Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, covers 186 countries measuring 10 specific freedoms such as trade, business, investment and property rights freedoms.

Jordan’s economic freedom score is 69.2, making its economy the 39th freest in the 2014 Index. Its score is 1.2 points worse than last year due primarily to deterioration in regulatory efficiency as measured by business freedom, labour freedom and monetary freedom, the report, posted on The Heritage Foundation’s website, showed on Tuesday.

In 2013 report, Jordan ranked 33rd globally.

According to the report, Jordan maintained the same ranking among the Arab states after Bahrain, the UAE and Qatar. It was followed by Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Jordan’s overall score continues to be well above the world and regional averages, the index indicated.

The 2014 report said: “Despite the region’s ongoing political and security challenges, Jordan’s economy has been resilient. The economy has benefited from earlier years’ reform agenda in the areas of privatisation and public finance management.”

High levels of trade freedom and investment freedom continue to sustain market openness, keeping the economy relatively competitive, the report indicated, adding that by promoting the transition to a more open and flexible economy, the financial sector has taken steps to meet international standards.

Topping the index were Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada respectively.

Commenting on the report, economist Yusuf Mansur said that despite the positive remarks on Jordan in the report, the country has to work on points of weakness highlighted in other international reports, such as the Doing Business and Competitiveness indexes, which showed a decline in Jordan’s rankings recently.  

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