Refined policy frameworks are critical for MENA’s recovery; IMF experts

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Desk Reporter
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Dubai
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has organized an expert discussion on the state of recovery in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) area, in conjunction with the launch of its annual Middle East & Central Asia Regional Economic Outlook report.

The report details the region’s post-pandemic progress as well as strategies that can aid in a more long-term, inclusive recovery. During the discussion, the IMF expert panel noted that the improved policy frameworks are vital for the transformational recovery of the MENA region.

The IMF’s report highlights that “a key requirement for a transformational recovery of the region is a reorientation of the role of the state with a focus on health, education, providing social safety nets, and pursuing competition-enhancing regulatory reform to promoting private sector innovation and growth.”

Several countries in the region, particularly those in the Gulf, have made great progress, although growth has been uneven.

Jihad Azour Image
Jihad Azour
Director
IMF Middle East & Central Asia

“Since the beginning of this year, the MENA region has made good progress and the recovery is ongoing despite the new outbreaks. Yet, the recovery is uneven and incomplete, with new challenges emerging, such as rising inflation and inequities. Countries with higher vaccination rates, less dependence on tourism, and more policy space will recover more quickly and experience less scarring in the longer term. Oil exporters will benefit from higher oil prices.”

Mr. Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises said, “As trust in business globally rises, I’m seeing a similar trend in our region, with the private sector increasingly seen as an essential partner to achieve our region’s national goals.”

The pandemic has demonstrated that governments all over the world cannot cope with economic shocks and new difficulties on their own.

“In many ways, the pandemic forced sectors to work together around the world. The vaccine drive is a clear example of a successful public, private, and people partnership. And, so I hope that the experiences of the past 18 months will inspire as to the models of collaboration and cooperation we need to see in the region if we are to overcome our most difficult challenges,” Mr. Jafar remarked.

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