Fraser Institute published the report on September 25, using the latest available data from 2016.
The Canadian institute classified countries in four categories: most free, second quartile, third quartile, and least free.
The institute’s index categorized 42 countries as the “most free” economically, and 40 in each of the other categories.
Morocco led the North African and ranked in the third quartile in economic freedom, with an rate of 6.37 out of 10, followed by Tunisia (121st), Mauritania (136th), and Egypt (147th). Algeria (159th) and Libya (161st) were among the 10 lowest-rated countries.
A trend towards more freedom
Although Morocco’s economic freedom score has dipped since 2010, the most recent score is an increased by 0.01 from the previous year, moving the country up one ranking from 116th.
The Fraser Institute’s report showed that Morocco’s economic freedom has increased from 1990 to 2016. Morocco scored 4.29 in 1990 and ranked 71th. Morocco’s economic freedom score then increased to 5.93 (ranked 86th) in 2000 and to 6.41 (ranked 104th) in 2010.
The index measures the degree of economic freedom based on five major areas: size of government; legal system and property rights; sound money; freedom to trade internationally; and regulation of credit, labor, and business. Each area has 24 components and is based on a scale from 0 to 10.
Morocco scored 5.93 in size of government and was ranked 111th worldwide. The North African country scored 5.40 in legal system and property rights (ranked 68th), 7.22 in sound money (ranked 118th), 6.93 in freedom to trade internationally (ranked 95th), and 6.35 in regulation (ranked 130th).
Economic freedom and ‘self ownership’
Economically free individuals have the right to decide for themselves “how to use their time and talents to shape their lives,” instead of having their options imposed by the “political process or the use of violence, theft, or fraud by others,” reads the report.
Fraser Institute’s 2018 report asserts, “The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, open markets, and clearly defined and enforced property rights.”
At the African continent level, Morocco ranked 13th after Mauritius (first in Africa and 8th in the world), Rwanda (40th), Botswana (44th), Uganda (46th), Kenya (61th), Tanzania (79th), South Africa (94th), Zambia (97th), Ghana (98th), Liberia (100th), Namibia (113th), and Nigeria (118th).
Among Arab countries, Morocco ranked 9th after Bahrain (30th), the UAE (37th), Qatar (38th), Jordan (42nd), Lebanon (74th), Oman (89th), Kuwait (90th), and Saudi Arabia (103rd).
Hong Kong and Singapore ranked the highest in the world in economic freedom, followed by New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, the US, Georgia, Mauritius, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
The Fraser Institute is an independent research and educational organization based in Canada.
Morocco 3rd in MENA for doing business
In the World Bank’s most recent Doing Business report for 2018, Morocco ranked 69th worldwide. Morocco scored 67.91 points with a more favorable business climate than that of neighboring countries in North Africa, such as Tunisia (88th), Egypt (128th), and Algeria (166th).
The report also stated that Morocco’s scoring enabled it to rise to the third position in the MENA region behind the UAE (21st) and Bahrain (66th).
At the level of Africa, Morocco also took third place, behind Mauritius (25th) and Rwanda (41st).
The World Bank’s Doing Business report “provides objective measures of business regulations for local firms” across the world.