Gulf Daily News Monday, 2nd February 2015 19 Bahrain ranks high in economic freedom followed at 56, scoring 66.7; Kuwait was placed 74th with a score of 62.5; and Saudi MANAMA: Bahrain continues to be Arabia ranked the lowest at 77, scoring the freest economy in the Middle East 62.1. and North Africa region, according to The report authors Terry Miller and the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, Anthony B Kim said the fundamental relareleased by the Heritage Foundation tionship between economic freedom and and the Wall Street Journal. prosperity is readily apparent worldwide. With an overall score of 73.4, the “No matter the region, per capita income kingdom ranks 18th in the global index levels are consistently higher in countries that are economically freer.” According to them, the Mena region, however, faces structural and institutional problems, and private-sector growth continues to lag far behind levels needed to provide adequate jobs for growing populations. Taken as a whole, the Mena region’s lack of job opportunities continues to be a serious problem, particularly for younger members of the labour force whose average unemployment rate is close to 25 per cent. “Existing policies and pracn Bahrain remains a regional leader by a huge margin tices continue to restrict economic freedom,” they added. free” category. Over the past year, business freedom has Thus, a total of 90 economies, or about 50pc n At the signing are, from left, HCE project manager Salman Al Markhi, Haji Hassan Group declined in 11 of the 18 countries in the region. of all nations and territories graded in the 2015 managing director Adel Hassan Al A’ali, Mr Abdulrahman and Mr Al Hamad Equally troublesome is that costly subsidies Index, provide institutional environments in on energy and food, which place a considerable which individuals and private enterprises benefit burden on budgets and stand in the way of sound from at least a moderate degree of economic sustainable economic development, are still on freedom in the pursuit of greater prosperity and the rise, the report said. success. Of the 178 economies graded in the 2015 Globally, the index was led by Hong Kong, Index, only five have sustained very high free- with a score of 89.6, followed by Singapore, dom scores of 80 or more, putting them in the New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland. ranks of the economically “free.” The countries with the least economic freedom The next 30 countries have been rated as were North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe “mostly free” economies recording scores and Eritrea. between 70 and 80. Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan and Iraq With scores of 60 to 70, 55 countries have were not ranked. earned scores that place them in the “moderately [email protected] By AVINASH SAXENA of 178 countries. Bahrain is well ahead of its fellow GCC states, with the UAE (economic freedom score of 72.4) at 25th spot being the second highest regional economy. While the kingdom’s global ranking has slipped from 13th last year, it remains the regional leader by a wide margin. Among other GCC countries, Qatar ranked 32nd with a score of 70.8; Oman Haji Hassan Group backs gulfBID 2015 MANAMA: Haji Hassan Group, a diversified construction-focussed group, has signed up as a strategic sponsor of gulfBID 2015, the market leading specialist exhibition for the Northern Gulf’s construction and building materials sector to be staged in Bahrain in May. This annual showcase, to be held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre from May 12 to 14, is the specialist regional construction and building material exhibition for the most influential architectural, engineering and design communities of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar. Haji Hassan Group is headquartered in Bahrain with joint venture partnerships across the GCC. Founded in 1952, the Group has companies across 13 sectors that specialise in the manufacturing of construction materials, road infrastructure, bridges and flyover projects, airport runways and real estate development. Haji Hassan manufactures building materials, precast concrete, ready-mix concrete, plastic and sewage pipes, construction chemicals, concrete blocks, steel reinforcement, rubbers and mechanical engineering spare parts, all of which are essential elements of the construction sector. “We are a regular exhibitor at gulfBID. This year, we have taken our level of partici- pation to that of Strategic Sponsor because we feel that association with this exhibition very much fits in with our philosophy of excellence,” Haji Hassan Group general manager for administration Fouad Al Hamad said. “A belief in innovative solutions, quality products and services are the trade mark of Haji Hassan Group. This belief, allied to honesty and integrity in all dealings, are the principles on which the ongoing growth of the Group are founded.” Haji Hassan will showcase at gulfBID products and services from its portfolio of joint venture partners and divisions, including Bahrain Precast Concrete, Bahrain Blocks, Haji Hassan Ready-mix, Arabian Chemical Industries (ISOLA), Haji Hassan Reinforcement, Arabian Parts Company and Bahrain Pipes. The exhibition organiser, Hilal Conferences and Exhibitions (HCE) managing director Jubran Abdulrahman said Haji Hassan is a major success story reflecting Bahrain’s entrepreneurial dynamism, and has been involved in many of the major projects in Bahrain. “Its products and expertise are a valued contribution for visitors attending the gulfBID exhibition,” Mr Abdulrahman added. gulfBID takes place alongside two other major exhibitions – Gulf Property Show and gulf Interiors – thus ensuring the continued success of the biggest integrated business-to-business showcase for the construction, interiors and property sectors in the Northern Gulf. Mazaya names Majaal as facilities manager MANAMA: Mazaya Holding of Kuwait has appointed Majaal Warehouse Company as facilities and leasing manager for its $20 million industrial facility. In announcing the appointment, Mazaya also confirmed that the construction of the project within the Salman Industrial City at the Bahrain Investment Wharf had reached practical completion. “Majaal has demonstrated professionalism and has represented our interests well in the management of the project thus far,” Al Mazaya Holding group chief executive Ibrahim Al Sagabi said. “We expect they will continue to deliver positive results as the development moves into an operational phase.” Majaal Warehouse managing director Amin Al Arrayed said having supported Mazaya through both the design and construction phases of the project, the agreement extends the rela- tionship to cover the operations of the facility. “We are building on our reputation as the preferred provider of industrial facilities in the kingdom, now delivering professional services to third parties, applying the skills and expertise we have developed managing our own properties since 2010.” Leasing efforts for this new facility will be formally launched at the three-day Gulf Industry Fair starting tomorrow. “We are very pleased to be bringing this facility to market through this event which brings together our entire target market. “We expect that many of the expanding companies who take part here as both exhibitors and guests will be in need of such facilities as they grow,” stated Mr Al Saqabi. “The timing of this show could not be more perfect for us.” The construction of the project was completed in just 10 months by KMC Contracting on time and on budget. The project represents Foreign Direct Investment into Bahrain and it serves as a strong vote of confidence in the national economy which recently posted a real GDP growth rate of 5.3pc. The Mazaya Logistics park is situated adjacent to the Khalifa Bin Salman Port with easy access to all other major transport links in Bahrain. The facility now offers over 140,000 square feet of secure, flexible and cost effective industrial facilities, supporting a broad range of business activities. They will be complemented with array of services that include 24 hours a day, seven days a week security, state-of-the-art information communication technology provisions, assistance on efficient design and use of spaces available from as little as 2,700 square feet to as much as 10,700 square feet.
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