Strengthening governance and competitiveness in the MENA region for stronger and more inclusive growth
The MENA region registered relatively dynamic economic growth and investment rates during the first decade of the century, even during the global economic and financial crisis. This was helped by important reforms by many governments to increase economic openness, diversification, private sector development and institutional reform. The participation of Tunisia and Jordan in the Open Government Partnership, the massive investment in infrastructure by Morocco and Egypt to increase connectivity and improve participation in global trade, and the efforts of the United Arab Emirates to diversify its economy demonstrate the great potential of the region to achieve progress. However, recent political instability and security threats have considerably slowed economic prospects. Reforms have not succeeded in tackling deeper structural challenges, such as corruption, unemployment, uneven development and unequal opportunities, especially for disadvantaged regions, women and youth. Appropriate policy responses are needed to regain stability and lay the foundations for a more open economy and a more inclusive development model. While the MENA region is profoundly heterogeneous, there are significant common economic and institutional trends that support the need for more concerted action to exploit the immense potential of the region and ensure its fruitful integration into the global economy.