The IMF, in its regional economic outlook published for the MENAP (Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan) covering 22 countries, forecast a lower GDP growth of 2.6 per cent for the region in 2009, compared to 5.7 per cent in 2008, as a result of the global financial crisis.
However, the fund said that although the region is not spared from the crisis, strong economic fundamentals and sizeable currency reserves have helped mitigate the impact of the shock. The IMF expects a higher recovery of 3.6 per cent for the region in 2010.
While releasing the spring 2009 outlook in Dubai yesterday, IMF Middle East and Central Asia department director Masood Ahmed said, ”given the global reach of the current economic crisis, countries in the Middle East and North Africa have also been impacted negatively.”
”However, they are likely to fare better than countries in other regions of the world, in part because of prudent financial and economic management, but also because oil exporters in the region can draw upon their large reserves to cushion the impact of the global slowdown on their own economies and the economies of their neighbouring countries with which they have growing economic links,” he added.