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Mr. Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, Christine J. Richmond, Oluremi Akin Olugbade, Gareth Anderson, Maria Atamanchuk, Mr. Hatim Bukhari, Iacovos Ioannou, Deeksha Kale, Tannous Kass-Hanna, Mr. Maximilien Queyranne, Wei Shi, and Joyce Wong
Prior to the COVID-19 shock, the key challenge facing policymakers in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia region was how to generate strong, sustainable, job-rich, inclusive growth. Post-COVID-19, this challenge has only grown given the additional reduction in fiscal space due to the crisis and the increased need to support the recovery. The sizable state-owned enterprise (SOE) footprint in the region, together with its cost to the government, call for revisiting the SOE sector to help open fiscal space and look for growth opportunities.
Mr. Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, Christine J. Richmond, Oluremi Akin Olugbade, Gareth Anderson, Maria Atamanchuk, Mr. Hatim Bukhari, Iacovos Ioannou, Deeksha Kale, Tannous Kass-Hanna, Mr. Maximilien Queyranne, Wei Shi, and Joyce Wong
Prior to the COVID-19 shock, the key challenge facing policymakers in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia region was how to generate strong, sustainable, job-rich, inclusive growth. Post-COVID-19, this challenge has only grown given the additional reduction in fiscal space due to the crisis and the increased need to support the recovery. The sizable state-owned enterprise (SOE) footprint in the region, together with its cost to the government, call for revisiting the SOE sector to help open fiscal space and look for growth opportunities.
Mr. Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, Christine J. Richmond, Oluremi Akin Olugbade, Gareth Anderson, Maria Atamanchuk, Mr. Hatim Bukhari, Iacovos Ioannou, Deeksha Kale, Tannous Kass-Hanna, Mr. Maximilien Queyranne, Wei Shi, and Joyce Wong
Prior to the COVID-19 shock, the key challenge facing policymakers in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia region was how to generate strong, sustainable, job-rich, inclusive growth. Post-COVID-19, this challenge has only grown given the additional reduction in fiscal space due to the crisis and the increased need to support the recovery. The sizable state-owned enterprise (SOE) footprint in the region, together with its cost to the government, call for revisiting the SOE sector to help open fiscal space and look for growth opportunities.
Vahram Stepanyan, Gohar Abajyan, Anta Ndoye, and Ms. Marwa Alnasaa
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a cornerstone of Arab economies, accounting for over 90 percent of all businesses and providing a major source of new job creation. Governments across the Arab World recognize the important role that SMEs can play in delivering higher and more inclusive growth. Many have rightly placed SME development at the center of growth and jobs strategies to meet the needs of young populations. Authorities have initiated policy interventions and schemes to support SME development. But progress so far has been patchy, and more comprehensive policy action is needed. Fostering vibrant and competitive SMEs that contribute to employment opportunities and high value-added output requires various stakeholders to deliver on a broad range of factors. Arab governments need a holistic policy approach that addresses the gaps in access to finance, creates an enabling business environment, and upgrades human capital and infrastructure. The approach should also promote an entrepreneurial mindset.
Shahid Yusuf
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.