Kuwait ranks 108 on Index of Economic Freedom for 2023.

Corruption still undermines development prospects

Kuwait fell seven places in the Economic Freedom Index for the year 2023 issued by the American “Heritage” organization, ranking 108 this year out of a total of 176 countries, reports Al-Qabas daily. The index ranked Kuwait this year among the most economically unfree countries. Its ranking in the previous report was moderate economically free. Kuwait ranked last among the Gulf countries. The UAE, Qatar and Bahrain came first, second and third respectively in the region, followed by Oman in fourth place and Saudi Arabia in fifth.

Economic freedom
According to the report, the degree of economic freedom in Kuwait reached 56.7 points out of 100, ranking it 108 among 176 countries around the world for the year 2023. Kuwait’s score decreased by 1.6 points this year. Kuwait ranked ninth out of the 14 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, and its overall score results are below the global and regional average. The “Heritage Index” report explained that the institutional weaknesses in Kuwait continue to restrict comprehensive economic freedom in the country. The judicial system lacks the ability to effectively defend property rights. Despite some progress, corruption still undermines development prospects.

The economy in Kuwait is in the long term, and there have been efforts to enhance the efficiency of the regulatory framework for business in the country, but progress has been slow in this area. The rule of law is generally weak in Kuwait, as the degree of property rights in the country is lower than the global average, as well as with regard to the degree of judicial effectiveness and the degree of integrity of the government. On the other hand, the Kuwaiti government took steps to improve its regulatory frameworks for business, but that progress in this regard was gradual and unstable. Business regulations in Kuwait lack flexibility, as the government provides many subsidies and controls prices through state-owned facilities and companies.

Non-tariff barriers increase the costs of trade. Although the Kuwaiti economy is generally open to foreign investment, some economic sectors in the country are still restricted, and the Kuwaiti banking sector still enjoys good capital. Globally, Singapore, Switzerland and Ireland topped the Index of Economic Freedom for the year 2023, followed by Taiwan, New Zealand and Estonia in the fourth, fifth and sixth positions respectively.

They are followed by Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Denmark in the seventh, eighth and ninth positions respectively, and then Sweden, Finland and Norway in the 10th, 11th and 12th positions respectively. As for the least economically free countries for the year 2023, North Korea bottomed the list at 176, preceded by Cuba (175), Venezuela (174), Sudan (173), Zimbabwe (172), Eritrea (171), Burundi (170), Iran (169), and Algeria (168).

Source- Arab Times.

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