Miss Catriona Purfield, Mr. Harald Finger, Mrs. Karen Ongley, Mr. Benedicte Baduel, Carolina Castellanos, Ms. Gaelle Pierre, Vahram Stepanyan, and Mr. Erik Roos
This publication brings together a set of IMF papers that prepared as backgrounds for the various sessions of the conference and will help put into broader dissemination channels the results of this important conference. An official IMF publication is well disseminated into academic and institutional libraries and book channels. The IMF metadata will also make the conference papers more discoverable online.
Mr. Nicolas R Blancher, Maximiliano Appendino, Aidyn Bibolov, Mr. Armand Fouejieu, Mr. Jiawei Li, Anta Ndoye, Alexandra Panagiotakopoulou, Wei Shi, and Tetyana Sydorenko
The importance of financial inclusion is increasingly recognized by policymakers around the world. Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) financial inclusion, in particular, is at the core of the economic diversification and growth challenges many countries are facing. In the Middle East and Central Asia (MENAP and CCA) regions, SMEs represent an important share of firms, but the regions lag most others in terms of SME access to financing.
Mr. Koshy Mathai, Mr. Christoph Duenwald, Ms. Anastasia Guscina, Rayah Al-Farah, Mr. Hatim Bukhari, Mr. Atif Chaudry, Moataz El-Said, Fozan Fareed, Mrs. Kerstin Gerling, Nghia-Piotr Le, Mr. Franto Ricka, Mr. Cesar Serra, Tetyana Sydorenko, Mr. Sébastien Walker, and Mr. Mohammed Zaher
This paper examines the role of social spending in improving socioeconomic outcomes in the Middle East and Central Asia. In particular, it addresses the following questions: (1) how large is social spending across the region? (2) how do countries in the region fare on socioeconomic outcomes? (3) how important is social spending as a determinant of these outcomes? and (4) how efficient is social spending in the region?
Mr. Alexei P Kireyev, Mr. Boaz Nandwa, Ms. Lorraine Ocampos, Mr. Babacar Sarr, Mr. Ramzy Al Amine, Mr. Allan G Auclair, Mr. Yufei Cai, and Mr. Jean-Francois Dauphin
Individual countries of the Maghreb have achieved substantial progress on trade, but, as a region they remain the least integrated in the world. The share of intraregional trade is less than 5 percent of their total trade, substantially lower than in all other regional trading blocs around the world. Geopolitical considerations and restrictive economic policies have stifled regional integration. Economic policies have been guided by country-level considerations, with little attention to the region, and are not coordinated. Restrictions on trade and capital flows remain substantial and constrain regional integration for the private sector.
The changing political landscape in the Arab world has created opportunities for economic transformation by tackling long-standing economic issues. Nevertheless, three years after the onset of political transition, implementing necessary economic policies has proven to be challenging. This paper lays out key elements of economic policy reform for Arab countries in transition.