Bahrain ranks high in economic freedom

Gulf Daily News Monday, 2nd February 2015
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
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.
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]
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.