Economic Freedom of the Arab World 2014 Annual Report
A new economic vision is needed to help the Arab world move forward. The Arab Economic Freedom project aims to help furnish that vision—one of free and open markets that create hope and opportunity equally for all. This report also provides a sound empirical measurement of economic policy that can distinguish between phony reform and real reform that creates new prosperity, entrepreneurship, and jobs.
Arab and Islamic societies have a rich trading tradition, one that celebrates markets open even to the humblest members of society. Yet, in recent decades, elites in many Arab nations controlled economic activity for their own benefit. They used onerous regulation and a corrupt rule of law to deny opportunity for others. Such a denial launched the Arab spring. It began in Tunisia when Mohamed Bouazizi, a vegetable and fruit seller, set himself on fire to protest the
bureaucratic police bullying he faced nearly every day in the market. His freedom to sell his wares to willing buyers was repeatedly denied.
As it has elsewhere, economic freedom provides a path to a better, more prosperous, more stable, and freer tomorrow for the Arab world. Economic freedom is simply the ability of individuals and families to take charge of their fate and make their own economic decisions—to sell or buy in the marketplace without discrimination; to open or close a business, to work for whom they wish or hire whom they wish, to receive investment or invest in others.
This August 2014 article in the American Thinker, “Economic Freedom and a Healthier Middle East,”discusses the importance of economic freedom to future stability and prosperity across the Arab world.