The Arab world is stepping onto the global stage, and its choices will significantly impact the future of the international economy. By embracing responsible economic policies and leveraging its unique strengths, the region can navigate the current challenges and emerge as a leader in a more stable and prosperous future.
The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reiterated the Arab region’s influence on the global economy to rise amid a backdrop of global uncertainty.
Speaking at the Arab Fiscal Forum in Dubai, Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director, announced that leaders from the region, including Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan, will play a crucial role in shaping the future of the World Bank and IMF.
This newfound influence comes as the gross domestic product of the Middle East and North Africa region is expected to reach 2.9 percent this year.
While expressing confidence in the global economic outlook, Georgieva cautioned against premature celebration. “Growth exceeded expectations in 2023, and global headline inflation is expected to fall in 2024. But we cannot declare victory prematurely,” she said.
However, the potential escalation of the Gaza conflict presents a growing concern. “This exceptionally uncertain moment compounds the challenges of economies still recovering from previous shocks,” Georgieva noted. She emphasized the Arab region’s crucial role in navigating these challenging times, stating, “The Arab region can plant the seed of a better and more stable future.”
In support of the region, the IMF has provided $64 billion in liquidity and reserves to the MENA region since the pandemic began, with $8 billion allocated in 2023 alone.
Additionally, the IMF plans to publish a report on February 12 demonstrating that phasing out energy subsidies could save $336 billion in the Middle East, potentially boosting social spending and reducing pollution.
By addressing its challenges and embracing economic diversification, the Arab world is poised to play a more significant role in shaping the global economic landscape.
Georgieva added, “For the observable future, ministers from the region will steer the direction of the World Bank and IMF – with Minister Al-Hussaini as the chair of the Development Committee and Minister Al-Jadaan as the Chair of the IMFC.”
The Innovation By Design Summit is in Doha on April 24. Attendance at the summit is by invitation only. Delegates can register here to receive their exclusive invite.
Loading the player...
How can the circular economy enable businesses to achieve sustainability?