With many countries in the Arab world experiencing popular protests and regime change, much of the focus of the international community and media has been the region’s political transition from autocratic rule to democracy. However, the economic transition that many of these countries now face is also critical for the future growth and development of their economies and the prosperity and well-being of their citizens. The international community and Arab leaders must now closely examine what reforms these countries need to take on in order to ensure an economic transition that creates jobs, attracts investment and turns these nations into globally competitive economies.
On September 23, Global Economy and Development at Brookings hosted a discussion on the economic transition of Middle East and North African countries post-Arab Spring and the role that Arab governments and the international community have guiding these economic reforms. Mustapha Nabli, central bank governor of Tunisia and Ahmed Galal, managing director of the Economic Research Forum, made opening remarks on the efforts needed to spur economic growth in the region. Gunilla Carlsson, Sweden’s minister for international development cooperation and Dirk Niebel, Germany’s minister for economic cooperation and development, responded with their perspective of the efforts of the international community. Vice President Kemal Derviş, director of Global Economy and Development, moderated the discussion.
After the program, the participants took audience questions.