Growth Expected to Rebound in Middle East and North Africa

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Tuesday April 17, 2018 12:29
WASHINGTON--17 Apr--World Bank
Growth to exceed 3% but reforms needed to achieve region's full potential and meet demands of large youth population

WASHINGTON, April 16, 2018 – The World Bank Group's latest Middle East and North Africa Economic Monitor projects regional growth to increase to 3.1% in 2018, up from 2% in 2017. The increase in growth is expected to be broad based, driven by a favorable global economic environment, stability in the oil market at slightly higher prices, and the resumption of post-conflict reconstruction.

"There are grounds for optimism," said Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Region. "Now is the time to focus on creating more jobs and economic opportunities for youth. The positive outlook is an opportunity to speed up reforms for a renewed private sector as an engine of growth and job creation."

On the back of a good performance by Gulf Cooperation Council countries, oil exporters could see growth reach 3% in 2018, double the rate in 2017. Growth among oil importers is expected to increase to 4% on average from 2018 to 2020, driven by a sharp rebound in Egypt and a rise in remittances, tourism and exports. Almost all countries in the region have embarked on major reforms to reduce or eliminate energy subsidies, identify new sources of non-oil revenues, and expand social safety nets to shield the poor from adverse effects of change.

"While stabilization policies have helped economies adjust in recent years, we need much faster growth to absorb the hundreds of millions of young people who will enter the labor market in the coming decades," said Rabah Arezki, World Bank Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa Region, "In this report, we study ways for transforming rather than adjusting the region's economies, to achieve the growth needed."

Low oil prices and a global shift toward renewable energy to meet climate goals poses risks and opportunities. With its abundant sunshine, the region can leverage the power of solar technology. Turning risks into opportunities will require innovation and the adoption of new technologies. Along with helping the region adapt to the new reality of low oil prices, leveraging new technologies could be a new engine of growth and jobs for the regions. A focus on corporate governance will need to accompany efforts to improve the business environment, to create a new system of incentives at the firm level that encourages the bold and creative thinking required for economic transformation.

Adopting new technologies will require significant investments in infrastructure, which will require greater leveraging of private finance. This can be achieved through public-private partnerships, which Jordan has used to build the Queen Alia airport, and Egypt to attract sizeable private investments in its energy sector. Public-Private partnerships have the added advantage of drawing on the innovation and efficiency of the private sector, and are a step toward changing the role of the state from the main provider of employment to an enabler of private sector activity.

For more information, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/mena
Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WorldBankMiddleEastNorthAfrica
Be updated via Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/worldbankMENA
For our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/worldbank

Latest Press Release

WICE establishes a joint-venture, EUROASIA TOTAL LOGISTICS, with its holding 40% of shares to provide cross-border transport services between China, Hong Kong

WICE establishes a joint-venture, "EUROASIA TOTAL LOGISTICS", with its holding 40% of shares to provide cross-border transport services between China, Hong Kong, and South East Asia with the expectation to achieve the first year's revenue at 200 million...

Photo Release: Krungsri Asset Management wins Best Asset Fund Manager 2018 from Alpha Southeast Asia

Miss Siriporn Sinacharoen, Managing Director, Krungsri Asset Management Company Limited received the Best Asset & Fund Manager Award 2018 from Alpha Southeast Asia magazine at a presentation ceremony on 18 September 2018. Behind-success factors...

Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited Offshore Offering and Issuance of US$1.2 Billion Senior Unsecured Notes under its US$3,000,000,000 Global Medium Term Note Program

Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited (the Bank), acting through its Hong Kong Branch, has offered and issued the following 2 tranches of US$1.2 billion senior and unsecured notes (the Notes) under its US$3,000,000,000 Global Medium Term Note Program to...

KBank-Visa to pilot blockchain based B2B payments

Kasikornbank is the first Thai bank in the pilot designed to simplify the cross-border payments, making it more transparent Visa today announced Kasikornbank is the first Thai financial institution to join the Visa B2B Connect pilot program. Visa B2B...

Photo Release: KBank offers financial facility to a leading plastic packaging company

At KBank Head Office, Mr. Thawee Teerasoontornwong (5th from right), KBank Executive Vice President, Mr. Wiwatana Panithansirikul (5th from left), Chief Executive Officer, and Ms. Suporn Panithansirikul (4th from left), Executive Director of S.P. PetPack...

Related Topics