I leave the Middle East and North Africa region with a sense of hope and resolve to return to the region again soon. I believe that with determination, the goals of the Arab reform agenda are within reach. Putting such reforms in place will help countries in the region both meet people’s aspirations and help them contribute even more to the rest of the world.
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2020 was a year of extremes. Travel all but ceased for a period. Oil prices wildly fluctuated. Trade in medical products reached new heights. Household spending shifted to consumer goods rather than services and savings ballooned as people stayed home amid a global shutdown. […]
Ali Al-Sadiq is a senior economist in the Western Hemisphere Department of the IMF, where he works on Trinidad and Tobago and Aruba. He previously worked in the Concessional Financing Division of the IMF’s Finance Department. His research interests are in the international finance, economic growth, and applied econometrics. Mr. Al-Sadiq is from Saudi Arabia and he holds a Ph.D. […]
Small and medium-sized enterprises dominate the business landscape in the Middle East and North Africa region. These enterprises account for more than 90 percent of the region’s businesses and, in some countries, contribute as much as 50 percent of employment and 70 percent of GDP.
Yet they face impediments to growth, and their contribution to employment is below potential. […]
This blog is part of a series providing regional analysis on the effects of the coronavirus.
By Jihad Azour
The impact of COVID-19 and the oil price plunge in the Middle East and the Caucasus and Central Asia has been substantial and could intensify. With three-quarters of the countries reporting at least one confirmed case […]
As the Group of Twenty industrialized and emerging market economies (G-20) finance ministers and central bank governors gather in Riyadh this week, they face an uncertain economic landscape.
After disappointing growth in 2019, we began to see signs of stabilization and risk reduction, including the Phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal. In January, […]
Since the global financial crisis of 2008, emerging market economies have experienced a surge in capital flows in response to significant monetary easing by major central banks. Gross capital inflows to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have remained high compared to other emerging markets, but their composition has changed significantly, with a surge in portfolio flows […]