Paris, 24 March 2009
The MENA-OECD Investment Programme’s Steering Group -- an assembly of high-level officials, policy experts and analysts -- met to confirm its commitment to active participation in investment-oriented reform as part of the MENA region’s response to the financial crisis.
The meeting was hosted by Morocco. Guests included Moroccan State Secretary Monkid Mestassi, and Iraqi Prime Minister Advisor and former Oil Minister, H.E. Dr.Thamir Ghadban.
During the meeting, emphasis was placed on developing open and transparent investment policies and effective investment promotion strategies in the region. The Steering Group also assessed the impact of the financial crisis on investment and business climate reform, specifically as relates to progress in regional and national policies across and in Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Morocco, Palestinian National Authority, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Key considerations for an effective crisis response are:
introducing regulatory measures, such as reducing administrative barriers and relaxing restrictions on inward investment
providing fiscal incentives, such as lowering tax or customs duties, to mitigate the effects of the crisis
promoting specific geographic zones to target foreign investment, such as the funding and constructing of economic cities in Saudi Arabia or of industrial zones in Egypt
The Steering Group also announced Spain as the new co-chair of the MENA-OECD Investment Programme.