- Hamid Davoodi, and George Abed
- Published Date:
- September 2003
© 2003 International Monetary Fund
Cover design by Luisa Menjivar-Macdonald
Production: IMF Multimedia Services Division
Cover photo of the Nile in Cairo.
© Hisham Ibrahim/CORBIS
A shorter article on this topic appeared in the March 2003 issue of the IMF’s Finance & Development.
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The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is an economically diverse region that includes countries with a common heritage, at various stages of economic development, and with vastly different endowment of natural resources. Despite undertaking economic reforms in many countries, and having considerable success in avoiding crises and achieving macroeconomic stability, the region’s economic performance in the past 30 years has been below its potential. The purpose of this pamphlet is to take stock of the region’s relatively weak performance, as measured by rate of growth, links to the global economy, and employment generation; explore the reasons for this outcome; and propose an agenda for urgent reforms.
The authors would like to thank Susan Creane for her comments and suggestions, other colleagues in the Middle Eastern Department of the IMF for valuable comments on earlier drafts, Heather Huckstep for administrative support, and Brett Rayner for research assistance. The authors bear the sole responsibility for any remaining errors and omissions.