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Mr. Mohamed A. El-Erian and Ms. Susan Fennell

Abstract

Coverage. The MENA region is defined to encompass the economies of the Arab League (Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Republic of Yemen), as well as the Islamic Republic of Iran and Israel.11 The region possesses abundant natural resources and, on average, enjoys a reasonable standard of living. However, individual countries exhibit a broad diversity of characteristics. They vary substantially in natural resources, economic and geographical size, population, and standards of living.

Mr. Mohamed A. El-Erian and Ms. Susan Fennell

Abstract

The economy of the Middle East and North Africa improved considerably in 1996, and remained favorable in 1997. This paper, by Mohamed A. El-Erian and Susan Fennell, presents an assessment of the recent experience of the MENA economies and examines prospects for 1998 and beyond.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper analyzes why the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has lagged in growth and globalization. Despite attempts to spur recovery and initiate structural reforms, many countries in the region remain on a slow growth path, effectively sidelined from globalization and the benefits of closer economic integration with the rest of the world. The benefits from oil failed to generate a sustained growth dynamic or bring about greater regional economic integration. The paper highlights that the slowdown in economic reforms is a key factor for the economic depression in the MENA region.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that the World Bank and its affiliate, the International Development Association (IDA), will support three projects in Kenya—one for rural access roads, an additional for integrated rural development, and a third for wildlife and tourism. A US$4 million loan and a US$4 million IDA credit will assist the government of Kenya in implementing the first phase of the rural access roads program. The program aims at the construction of 15,000 km of rural access roads in eight years.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.
Mr. Mohamed A. El-Erian and Ms. Susan Fennell

Abstract

The economy of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has continued to strengthen in 1997, notwithstanding particularly difficult situations in certain individual economies.1 Annual economic growth has been in the 4 percent range, resulting in a second consecutive year of much needed positive per capita income growth. Financial conditions have continued to improve as reflected in lower inflation, higher foreign exchange reserves, and a more manageable debt burden.

Mr. Mohamed A. El-Erian and Ms. Susan Fennell

Abstract

As recognized by governments throughout the region, sustaining a high rate of growth is the primary economic challenge facing the MENA economies. This is needed to enhance national prosperity, reduce unemployment in non-oil economies of the region, and generate jobs for the growing number of young people joining the labor force.

Mr. Mohamed A. El-Erian and Ms. Susan Fennell

Abstract

Full development of the economic potential of the region has in the past been constrained by macroeconomic instability and serious structural impediments.3 With several countries having achieved significant improvements in their macroeconomic positions, emphasis is now firmly being placed on eliminating structural impediments that have undermined investment and factor productivity gains. These impediments have also distorted the region’s interlinkages with the rapidly globalizing world economy while limiting the beneficial spillover effects domestically of the economic and financial improvements.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The Q&A in this issue features seven questions about policy options for emerging market countries (by Marcos Chamon, Chris Crowe, and Jun Il Kim); research summaries on “Does Trade and Financial Globalization Cause Income Inequality?” (by Chris Papageorgiou) and “The Current Account of Oil-Exporting Countries (by Irineu E. de Carvalho Filho); an article on the launch of the IMF’s new research journal, IMF Economic Review, and the contents of the upcoming IMF Staff Papers, which the new the new journal will succeed in 2010; an article on the upcoming Tenth Annual Jacques Polak Research Conference; a listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during July–September 2009; and listings of recent IMF Working Papers and Staff Position Notes.