Since the onset of the Arab Spring, economic uncertainty in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen (Arab Countries in Transition, ACTs) has slowed already sluggish growth; worsened unemployment, particularly of youth; undermined business confidence, affected tourist arrivals, and depressed domestic and foreign direct investment. Furthermore, political and social tensions have constrained reform efforts. Assessing policy options as presented in the voluminous literature on the Arab Spring and based on cross-country experience, this paper concludes that sustainable and inclusive growth calls for a two pronged approach: short term measures that revive growth momentum and partially allay popular concerns; complemented with efforts to adjust the public’s expectations and prepare the ground for structural reforms that will deliver the desired longer tem performance.
This paper explores the link between exchange rate volatility of European currencies and economic performance of several countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The elimination of intra euro-zone exchange rate volatility resulting from the introduction of the euro is estimated to affect the production structure of MENA economies and shift their exports from manufacturing to agriculture and services. At the country and industry levels, the impact of the euro is more striking in countries with higher shares of manufacturing and higher shares of exports to the euro zone.