Saudi Arabia: a Key Regional and Global Player

2017-04-15T14:13:13-04:00February 8, 2012|

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.

The Arab Spring, One Year On

2017-04-15T14:15:41-04:00December 6, 2011|

It is a period when hard choices must be made, when post-revolutionary euphoria must give some way to practical concerns. It also does not help that this is happening at a time of great turmoil in the global economy. But I remain hopeful. The final destination is clear: the Arab Spring is still poised to unleash the potential of the Arab people.

Mideast Oil Exporters Face the Crisis Head On

2017-04-15T14:51:05-04:00October 11, 2009|

By Masood Ahmed Middle East oil exporters are squarely facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression head on. Despite the sharp drop in oil prices last year, the oil exporters rightly decided to maintain spending by drawing upon reserves amassed during the boom years. High public spending and exceptional anticrisis financial measures have not only cushioned oil exporters’ own economies but are also contributing to sustaining global demand. They have also helped the interlinked economies of neighboring oil importers.  Facing this boom-bust cycle  Between 2004 and 2008, Middle East oil-exporting countries grew by about 6 percent a year and accumulated $1.3 trillion in foreign assets. With the striking drop in oil prices—from a peak of $147 per barrel in mid-2008 to around $30 per barrel at the beginning of 2009—the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have been hardest hit. Iraq and Saudi Arabia are expected to see the most pronounced drops in oil GDP growth—8 and 15 percentage points, respectively—this year.

Despite sharp drop in oil prices last year, oil exporters rightly decided to maintain spending by drawing on reserves amassed during boom years (photo: Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images)[…]

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