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    Middle East and North Africa Economic Monitor, October 2018: A New Economy for Middle East and North Africa
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2018-10) Arezki, Rabah ; Mottaghi, Lili ; Barone, Andrea ; Fan, Rachel Yuting ; Harb, Amani Abou ; Karasapan, Omer M. ; Matsunaga, Hideki ; Nguyen, Ha ; de Soyres, Francois
    Growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is projected to rebound to an average of 2% in 2018, up from an average 1.4% in 2017. The modest rebound in growth is driven mostly by the recent rise in oil prices, which has benefitted the region’s oil exporters while putting pressure on the budgets of oil importers. The rebound also reflects the impact of modest reforms and stabilization efforts undertaken in some countries in the region. The report forecasts that regional growth will continue to improve modestly, to an average of 2.8% by the end of 2020 while there is the ongoing risk that instability in the region could worsen and dampen growth. Despite recovery, the slow pace of growth will not generate enough jobs for the region’s large youth population. New drivers of growth are needed to reach the level of job creation required. The report offers a roadmap for unlocking the enormous potential of the region’s large and well-educated youth population by embracing the new digital economy. Broader and bolder reforms will be needed to achieve this goal, along with critical investments in digital infrastructure. It will require the reorientation of education systems toward science and technology, the creation of modern telecommunications and payments systems, and a private-sector driven economy governed by regulations that encourage rather than stifle innovation.
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    Middle East and North Africa Economic Developments and Prospects, September 2011 : Investing for Growth and Jobs
    (Washington, DC, 2011-09) World Bank ; Ianchovichina, Elena
    The report highlights the important links between good governance on a level legal and regulatory playing field, and the ability of investment to stimulate growth. Investment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been strong over the last two decades in comparison with Latin America and Eastern Europe. However, in the oil exporting countries, it has been primarily supported by large and expanding public investments. Oil importers, in contrast, have shown more strength in private investment, which has increased in recent years. A concern with reliance on public investment is that in economies with weak governance there is no evidence that public investment stimulates growth. In contrast, in countries with an adequate level of protection of property rights and legal institutions, public investment is strongly linked to growth. The report also makes a strong case for private investment in services and manufacturing as engines of job creation and income growth in the region.
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    Middle East and North Africa Economic Developments and Prospects, January 2011 : Sustaining the Recovery and Looking Beyond
    (Washington, DC, 2011-01) World Bank ; Ianchovichina, Elena
    The impact of the global financial and economic crisis on the Middle East and North Africa region was relatively mild. Lack of integration and a large public sector helped insulate the region to some extent, but now these and other factors are slowing down the speed of its economic recovery. The report examines the major factors threatening the recovery and those that obstruct long-term growth – especially non-oil export growth, which in net terms contributed little to regional growth during the past decade, with non-oil exports remaining below potential in many countries in the region. The report emphasizes several major areas in need of policy makers’ attention, including restrictive trade policies, particularly those affecting trade in services; governance issues linked to uneven application of rules and regulations; inefficient and inflexible labor markets and scarcity of skills, innovation and technological capabilities.