How do MENA firms participating in international trade compare with their counterparts elsewhere in the world as well as with non-traders in the region? This column reports globally comparative data on the size and productivity of firms that export, import and do both – ‘two-way traders’. The results indicate the need for policy measures in MENA economies to promote efficient access to export markets and material inputs, especially for dynamic mid-range firms with potential for growth.
The development of a vibrant private sector is essential for delivering the sustainable employment and inclusive growth that are so urgently needed in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. This column summarises findings on the key constraints on doing business from Enterprise Surveys conducted in eight economies in the region during the period 2013-15.