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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses the options for financing the government fiscal deficit in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government is working to develop a comprehensive strategy to meet its budget financing needs. Although external borrowing could alleviate pressure on the domestic market, it will also create new risks. Reliance on foreign investors may help further enhance transparency. Foreign investors’ demand for diversification could also allow the Saudi government to enjoy attractive yields. Broadening the investor base and ensuring that the government’s debt issuance supports the development of the private debt market could help alleviate some of the negative economic and financial effects of higher government debt.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Fiscal consolidation, additional reserve buildup, and higher growth are key program objectives for the Jordanian authorities. Despite the socially difficult elimination of the fuel subsidy, program performance was mixed. Initiatives to strengthen banking supervision and develop capital markets are important. The program addresses economic imbalances and safeguards social stability. Executive Directors are satisfied with the action taken to rebuild reserves through an increase in interest rates and by attracting donor funds, as well as domestic dollar-denominated financing. The government is committed to working on steps to boost revenue.
Amer Bisat, Mr. Mohamed A. El-Erian, Mr. Mahmoud El-Gamal, and Mr. Francesco P Mongelli
The paper considers investment and growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Notwithstanding cross-country differences, investment as a whole has been too low, too heavily tilted toward the public sector, too highly dependent on external influences, and less productive than in many other regions. Improving the region’s investment performance is critical if policymakers are to succeed in increasing the region’s economic growth rate. After discussing the relationship between investment and growth, the paper analyzes the investment responsiveness of various countries in the region and notes the policy priorities for strengthening the basis for rapid and sustained economic growth.