Egyptian hospitals in Sinai on alert amid Israeli aggression on Gaza    Israel continues targeting Gaza, Palestinian resistance responds with missiles    Egypt announces Thursday 1st day of Eid Al-Fitr    Nuweiba: Egypt's paradise of serenity    Egypt's current account deficit jumps to $7.6 bln in 1H of FY2020/21: CBE    Opinion| Egypt and Human Rights    Egypt's trade deficit down 1.2% to $3.34bn in February 2021: CAPMAS    Global economic recovery to improve debt service coverage ratios: Moody's    Opinion| Biden and hate crimes against Asians    Egypt's Trade Minister outlines customs clearance conditions for imported electric vehicles    Egypt's unemployment increases to 7.4% in Q1 2021: CAPMAS    Egypt raises readiness at university hospitals for Eid Al-Fitr holidays    Egypt develops Suez Canal in line with international trade movement: Al-Sisi    Egypt's Parliament discusses abolishing imprisonment for female debtors    India to procure 300k Remdesivir doses from Egypt's Eva Pharma    Egypt will locally manufacture first 2m Sinovac vaccine doses by June-end    2021 South East European Film Festival celebrates cinematic diversity of 18 countries    Sheffield Documentary Film Festival announces line-up for June edition    Lebanese pop star Carole Samaha to release new album this summer    We want Egypt and Sudan to agree to second filling only: Ethiopia    Turkey seeks to restore 'historic unity' with Egyptian people: Erdogan    Al Ahly face injuries as they take on Al Ittihad Alexandria    Elneny's Arsenal targets 'remontada' in Europa League semi-finals    Zamalek eye return to victories at expense of Smouha in Egyptian Premier League    Egypt's CIB first bank in MENA, Africa to receive Gender Equity Seal    Egypt buys 30 Rafale fighter jets from France    Direct flights between Russia and Egypt will resume in June, Ambassador    Egypt's Ahly is establishing a new stadium, expected to be 'sports complex'    Blinken presses Ethiopia's Abiy to ensure full withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray    Forces opposed to Somali president control parts of Mogadishu    Nine people executed in Egypt over Kerdasa police killings in 2013    UEFA investigating Ibrahimovic's alleged ties to betting company    61 doctors died from coronavirus since start of April: Egypt's medical syndicate    Egypt targets 5.6% inflation rate in FY2020/21, 6% in FY2021/22    Egypt allocates EGP 132 bln to modernise railway system: Transport minister    Real Madrid not thinking about any Super League sanctions: Zidane    Total declares force majeure on Mozambique LNG after attacks    All the winners at the 93rd Academy Awards    Egypt's Ahly granted approval to build new stadium on Cairo outskirts    Aswan Int'l Women's Film Festival dedicates 5th edition to Kawthar Heikal    BREAKING: Egypt's information minister Osama Heikal resigns amid parliamentary criticism    'War was not Egypt's aim, but peace was the ultimate goal,' Sisi says on Sinai Liberation Day anniversary    Factbox: Key nominations for the 2021 Academy Awards    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    Veteran Egyptian journalist Makram Mohamed Ahmed passes away at 86    Allianz Egypt partners with IGNITE to equip brand ambassadors for 2021 Olympics    Hassan Allam consortium wins contract to manage, operate Grand Egyptian Museum    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





IMF gives upward projection for MENA economy to 4% in 2021
2021 path to recovery in Middle East and Central Asia is expected to be long and divergent, international fund said
Published in Daily News Egypt on 11 - 04 - 2021

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its April regional economic outlook that it expects the GDP for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to reach 4% in 2021 and 3.7% in 2022.
This reflects an upturn from the -3.4% it projected in 2020, and also up from its October regional outlook forecast of 3.2% in 2021.
The IMF said that the GDP of the MENA oil importers which include Egypt will reach 2.3% and 4.5% in 2021 and 2022 respectively, up from -0.8% in 2020.
Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the IMF, said at a press conference on the side lines of the World Bank's and IMF's spring meetings, that when the IMF convened its spring meetings for the first time virtually, the world was grappling with the outbreak of one of the most severe humanitarian and economic crisis.
"Our region reacted swiftly and with resolve, implementing measures that helped contain the pandemic spread and cushion the economic blow," Azour said, "Now, year later, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and favourable external environment, offer hope that the end of the crisis is within sight."
He explained that the growth is expected to pick up in the region, while the 2021 path to recovery is expected to be long and divergent, both across and within countries with many falling behind.
Azour said that the reasons behind this is that, firstly, the progress of the vaccine rollout varied widely across the region. Some countries, such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), are in the advanced stages of vaccination, while others are lagging behind, as widespread inoculation is not expected until 2022 or2023.
"Secondly, fragile and conflict affected states, especially those with low incomes, face a particularly difficult path ahead, giving their limited vaccine access and ongoing instability," he said.
He said that the third reason is that economies that are heavily reliant on contact intensive sectors especially tourism will recover more slowly.
"Lastly, countries that did not implement strong policy support in the wake of the pandemic, are now further behind on the road to recovery," Azour said, "Meanwhile, the rise of oil prices helping the fiscal and external balances of oil exporters and supporting the recovery of the non-oil sector, although OPEC plus cuts are limiting their impact on overall growth."
He said that the outlook remains highly uncertain, with the passage of the pandemic and vaccination and available policy space, all having a significant impact on individual country forecasts.
Azour said that the pandemic has exacerbated many economic challenges in the region, and further exposed how much work remains to be done to protect the most vulnerable and create jobs. This also includes providing equal opportunities for women and young people, and also reduce poverty.
He said that one particular concern going forward is rising government debt and growing financing pressures that have worsened in the last year, and which will constraint further policy actions.
"This is particularly important considering the risk of a rapid rise in US bond yields, which could lead to tighter financial conditions, renewed capital outflow and higher sovereign spreads," Azour said, "And then adding these and other challenges will help shape the region's future, which is why countries must consider 2021 the year of policymaking."
He said that this would help exit the crisis, accelerate the recovery while preserving debt sustainability and build forward better toward more inclusive, resilient, and green economies.
Azour then talked about the needed policies to emerge from the crisis toward a better future, with securing access to vaccines and supporting health systems remaining the most urgent imperatives.
He said that accelerating vaccinations could boost GDP growth by 1% by 2022, and that the regional and international cooperation will be critical to ensuring that low income countries are not left behind.
"Second, there needs to be help accelerating the recovery, as it will be important to take policy support flexibly," he added, "Well, targeted, and in place until the recovery is well entrenched for the many countries without policy space further support should be calibrated to safeguard debt sustainability."
Azour said that developing medium-term fiscal frameworks and a debt management strategy will help to reduce elevated debt burdens, while providing maximum support to growth.
He said that support in all countries should target viable firms, especially small ones.
Azour said that preparing workers for the post pandemic world will also be vital, especially for the regions with large youth population.
"Finally, to build forward better, countries will need to start addressing deep seated transformation challenges, such as persistent unemployment, inequality, and climate change, capitalising on lessons learned during the pandemic and leveraging digitalisation," he said, "This will help prepare the economies for the future, and improve the efficiency of social safety nets, health and education, which are so critical to reducing poverty and inequality."
He assured that improving governance and reforming the large public sector enterprises should also be prioritised, as well as policies that adapt and invest in climate resilient infrastructure.
Azour concluded by saying the IMF supported the MENA region with over $17bn in financing last year. The fund will remain a steadfast partner in these efforts through additional financing, technical assistance, capacity development, and policy advice.


Clic here to read the story from its source.