New report seeks to unlock private sector potential in MENA Region by addressing constraints

July 26, 2016
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The private sector can be an important driver for growth and rising prosperity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) if effective policies are put in place to address key challenges across the region, according to a report from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank (WB).
The report asks “What’s holding back the private sector in MENA?”.  It draws lessons from the MENA Enterprise Survey (ES) of more than 6,000 firms in eight countries. Many of those firms cited political instability, corruption, unreliable electricity supply and inadequate access to finance as factors that were holding them back. They also said that innovation and growth were constrained by barriers to trade and a scarcity of appropriately trained workers. In many places, they saw a disconnect between firms and formal financing channels, with the result that firms were losing growth opportunities.
The report concludes that “Strategies to support firms in enhancing their productivity, as well as the process of resource reallocation towards more productive firms, should be a high priority for public authorities in the region.”
It highlights four specific areas where policy responses are required: to improve the business environment, to improve access to finance, to achieve better education, employment and skills, and to promote trade, competition and innovation.  (EU Neighbourhood Info)
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EBRD – website