Policy-makers, business leaders and forecasters can all benefit from access to data on historical economic and financial cycles as well as the current state of the economy in real-time. This column outlines efforts in Kuwait to develop a chronology of business cycles – one that tracks and projects the dates of expansions and contractions of overall economic activity.
Despite their proximity, trade and investment flows between the Arab countries and sub-Saharan Africa are very low. This column reports analysis of the potential development gains from deepening economic integration between groups of countries within and across the two regions. Existing and proposed free trade agreements that can help to promote stronger growth include the Arab customs union, the continental free trade area of the African Union, the pan Arab free trade area and the tripartite free trade area, which links three regional economic communities in Africa
Many countries find themselves in the ‘middle-income trap’, facing a slowdown of economic growth because of weak innovation. This column draws on the experiences of East Asian countries to explore how businesses can upgrade their innovation capabilities and how policies can provide support for those efforts, thereby promoting renewed growth. There are important lessons for the MENA region.
Iran and the United States seem to have reversed roles with the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal. As this Project Syndicate column explains, Iran’s isolation before the agreement now contrasts with America's determination to swim against the global tide.
Energy constitutes a major building block of Saudi Arabia’s economic reform agenda described in the government’s Vision 2030. This column outlines the key considerations, including the future role of the oil industry, energy efficiency programmes, domestic energy prices and diversification of energy sources.
Economic relations between the European Union and their partner countries in the Southern Mediterranean are being reshaped by the New European Neighbourhood Policy and related trade negotiations. This column reports research on the likely impact of greater trade and financial integration on macroeconomic stability and income convergence between the two regions – and the implications for economic policy-makers in the MED countries.