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Survey of economic and social developments in the Arab region 2013-2014

image of Survey of economic and social developments in the Arab region 2013-2014
The Arab region saw slower economic growth in 2013, mainly because of the moderate growth of major oil-exporting countries, represented by the member countries of Gulf Cooperation Council. While GCC countries are on a stable recovery path, the polarization of economic performance among Arab countries continues between GCC and other Arab countries. The political, security and humanitarian crisis in Iraq, Libya, Palestine and the Syrian Arab Republic deepened, impacting the region negatively, now increasingly being viewed as fragile and chaotic despite its vast natural resources. This report discusses the issue of current financing gaps, estimates conceptual financing gaps to achieve full employment, and concludes with a set of policy recommendations. As outlined in the report, regional integration has the greatest potential to unlock financial resource mobilization and diversification, and should be utilized as a tool for economic and social transformation across the Arab region.

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Socioeconomic trends and developments in the Arab region

The Arab region saw slower economic growth in 2013 compared to 2012, owing mainly to the moderate oil revenues growth of major oil-exporting countries, namely GCC countries. While these countries are on a stable recovery path, the polarization of economic performance among Arab countries continues between GCC countries and other Arab countries. Moderate recovery has been witnessed in only a few countries in the Mashreq and Maghreb subregions, as well as in Arab LDCs. Most countries in these subregional groups suffer from stagnating economic activities resulting from continued political instability and social unrest. The crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic continues to have negative spillover effects on neighbouring countries, particularly with regards to subdued cross-border economic activities, including trade, investment and tourism. The insufficient speed of economic recovery in Europe is affecting the non-oil exports of the Mashreq and Maghreb subregions. High unemployment continues to be a pressing issue in Arab countries, including GCC countries, where labour force nationalization policies continue. Employment creation remains the most important item on the policy agenda of the region.

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