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Saudi Arabia Remains One of the Most Economically Free Countries- US Think Tank - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Washington, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank, deemed Saudi Arabia “mostly free” in its annual report on global economic freedom.

The report, which was produced for public view this week, places a high value on liberalized trade policies, low levels of government intervention, and privatized economies. At the top of the list were Hong Kong, Singapore, and Ireland, each earning scores of between about 1.3 and 1.5, with a “1” being the “most free,” and a “5” being the “least free.”

Saudi Arabia was awarded a 2.84 grading, making it one of the most free countries in the Middle East.

“The Saudi government held its first nationwide municipal elections in February 2005,” the report said. “The government has sought to diversify the economy to reduce its dependence on oil exports and strengthen the private sector.”

Saudi Arabia was given high marks under the “Fiscal Burden” category, because it has no income tax or corporate tax for its citizens or businesses. The kingdom was also given a good grade for its monetary policy-from 1995 to 2004, its weighted average annual rate of inflation was 0.34 percent-and for the government’s hands-off approach toward waging and pricing.

In conclusion, the report said, economically, Saudi Arabia is “mostly free.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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