Regional conference: Investment and inclusive growth in the midst of crisis
Under the patronage of the Minister of Finance of Lebanon, H.E. Mr. Ali Hassan Khalil, the OECD and the Institut des Finances Basil Fuleihan organised a regional conference on “Investment and inclusive growth in the midst of crisis: lessons learned & ways forward”. The conference took place in Beirut, on 11 May 2016.
The conference gathered over 90 participants, including policymakers and representatives from the private sector and civil society from the region (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia and Turkey) as well as representatives from international organizations and the donor community (EU, Germany, Spain, UK, UNDP, UNESCWA, Union of Arab Banks and the World Bank).
participants at the regional conference, Beirut, 11 May 2016
The conference addressed the following topics:
- How can the private sector contribute to stabilising the MENA region.
- Investment and access to markets.
- Financing and structuring projects for growth and reconstruction.
- Promoting entrepreneurship and SMEs for inclusion.
There is strong consensus about the need of private sector development in contributing to economic growth and resilience in the region. In order to increase investment and access to markets, MENA governments need to strengthen the legal and institutional framework for investors; improve trade and investment integration and access to markets; and reinforce the public-private dialogue. Although reconstruction needs in countries directly affected by conflict (Syria, Libya, Iraq) will eventually translate into large market opportunities, uncertainty deters investors from investing today.
The international community needs to plan ahead and address this market failure. Enabling the creation and growth of SMEs is especially important to provide jobs in a region that suffers very high levels of unemployment with the additional pressure from refugees and internally displaced people. Countries can learn from each other’s successes and failures to deliver better policies and contribute to more resilient economies.
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