Posted on November 12, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Christine Lagarde
(Versions in عربي)
Two days ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Kuwait, a member country of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It was a whirlwind visit, with many places to see and people to meet, in a thriving corner of the global economy. Kuwait has extended to me its emblematic tradition of hospitality— a testament to its ancient and noble culture. I was awed by the magnificent artifacts of the al-Sabah collection, which I saw in the beautifully restored Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah cultural center.
Back to economics. The member countries of the council—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—have some of world’s highest living standards. The region has also become a major destination for foreign workers and a source of remittances for their families back home. And it is a financial center and a hub for international trade and business services.
Filed under: Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, Employment, Finance, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Middle East, عربي | Tagged: Bahrain, Christine Lagarde, economic growth, education, GCC, Kuwait, MENA, Middle East, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates | 4 Comments »
Posted on January 19, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Masood Ahmed
(Version in عربي)
The issue of how to create more jobs is high on the minds of policymakers everywhere. The economies of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—are no exception.
By many measures, these economies are doing very well. Abundant oil and gas reserves are producing large budget and external surpluses, growth is up, and considerable strides have been made on social indicators.
Yet, economic activity is dominated by the oil/gas sector and—given that many GCC countries have proven reserves of at least another 50–100 years at current rates of production—will remain so. However, that sector creates relatively few jobs directly—it employs less than 3 percent of the region’s labor force.
Filed under: Employment, growth, International Monetary Fund, Middle East, عربي | Tagged: Bahrain, economic diversification, employment, GCC, Gulf Cooperation Council, IMF, iMFdirect, International Monetary Fund, jobs, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, unemployment, United Arab Emirates | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 7, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Masood Ahmed
(Version in عربي )
Bank credit has been very slow to pickup in the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). How big a problem is this for their economic recovery?
Sluggish credit growth in the post-crisis period was hardly a unique development, as indicated in our latest Regional Economic Outlook. More than a dozen countries in the Middle East and Central Asia region, and countless more outside the region, shared this experience. But while there are clearer signs of recovery in some countries, credit to the private sector is still barely growing in the GCC, notwithstanding policy efforts to revive it.
It might seem easy to ring the alarm bells. After all, won’t the prospect of weak credit growth restrain economic activity in the short-term? Perhaps. But we believe the negative impact of credit growth may not be quite so severe.
Why not? In part, that answer lies in how we arrived at the current situation. Continue reading
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Middle East, عربي | Tagged: Bahrain, bank credit, capital adequacy, credit growth, credit risk, credit to the private sector, global crisis, Gulf Cooperation Council, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E | 1 Comment »