Lagarde: Building Bridges to the Future in the Persian Gulf

By Christine Lagarde—Managing Director, IMF: Two days ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Kuwait, a member country of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It was a whirlwind visit, with many places to see and people to meet, in a thriving corner of the global economy. Kuwait has extended to me its emblematic tradition of hospitality— a […]

How Fuel Subsidies Around the World Burden the Rich and the Poor Alike, with Lessons for the US

I have posted frequently (most recently in a three-part series that starts here) on the topic of underpricing of energy in the United States, but we are not the only offender. Many countries around the world subsidize consumer energy prices in ways that bring them to levels even lower than what U.S. consumers pay. These […]

Job Creation: What Can the GCC Learn From Asia?

Asia’s job creation is one of the fastest in the world. Over the past decade, Asia grew rapidly thanks to high rates of savings and investment, human capital accumulation, diversification and knowledge transfers. Most of all, though, it put unskilled labor to work and enjoyed rising productivity. Overall, the informal sector – characterized by low […]

GCC: How to Create Jobs for Nationals?

The GCC is growing, helped by crude production and expansionary policies. Despite the sluggish global outlook, the Eurozone recession, and Asia’s deceleration, the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – are growing the fastest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region […]

QE3: Buoying the GCC

The Economonitor’s QE3 week is perfect timing as we’ve been thinking a lot about the effects of the latest bouts of global monetary stimulus on the Middle East and North Africa – as summarized in part of our omnibus MENA quarterly presentation. We argue there that even though EMs and to a lesser extent frontier […]

MENA: No Reforms, No Growth

Middle East and North Africa (MENA): hard choices needed, but unlikely. For political transitions to be successful, economic fundamentals need to be solid. Yet, MENA countries are facing political change and pressing social demands while enduring economic strains. The sluggish global outlook, the Eurozone (EZ) recession, and China’s deceleration hamper exports, remittances and capital inflows. […]

A Week in Sovereign Wealth: From Nigeria to Qatar

Its been an important week for two funds at different ends of the sovereign investment risk tolerance spectrum – Nigeria and Qatar, both of which have sparked a series of headlines and have intentionally or not taken some new strides. The Nigerian governors breaking the deadlock on the country’s new US$1 billion fund and Qatar […]

The Industrial Organization of Food Imports in Small Countries: The Curious Case of Qatar

The small Gulf Arab countries heavily depend on foreign supplies for their food requirements.  Yet, very little empirical analysis has been conducted on food security issues facing these countries.  This column describes a novel micro-data set for Qatar which is capable of feeding analysis to assess the special food security dilemmas of food-import-dependent micro states. […]

QIA: A Taste for Commodities

In the last month, even as markets have sold off on worsening macro news, many SWF watchers in the press remain  agog over the recent flurry of purchases by the Qatar Investment Authority across the commodities space, particularly the energy sector, as well as some other extensive purchases.  It seems a good time (if a […]

Meeting the Employment Challenge in the GCC

The issue of how to create more jobs is high on the minds of policymakers everywhere. The economies of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—are no exception. By many measures, these economies are doing very well. Abundant oil and gas reserves are producing large […]

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