The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank will host a high-level conference about what is holding back the private sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) on Monday, 25 July.
Set to be held in Egypt, the conference will go by the name ‘What’s Holding Back the Private Sector in MENA? Lessons from the Enterprise Survey‘, and pays special attention to the policies needed to support private enterprises, ensure job creation, and maintain entrepreneurship. This should result in higher economic growth and shared prosperity.
EBRD, EIB and the World Bank have collaborated on a joint report, which shares the same name as the conference. The report addresses four issues at the heart of private sector development in MENA: the general business environment, firm finance and financial constraints, employment in the private sector, and competition, with a focus on trade, innovation, and management practices. It also discusses the policy responses that are needed.
The report is based on the results of the MENA Enterprise Survey, which was designed and financed jointly by the three mentioned entities, to gain a better understanding of factors affecting firm behaviour, firm dynamics, and growth prospects in the region.
The survey covers some 8,000 firms in eight economies in the region and is now at the disposal of economists, the business community, and policy makers.
The report’s findings will be discussed during the conference, considering the potential to grow the formal private sector.
Conference panellists include chief economist at EIB Debora Revoltella, incoming chief economist at EBRD Sergei Guriev, and senior vice president and chief economist at the World Bank Kaushik Basu.
Some Egyptian officials will attend the conference such as Minister of International Cooperation and governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Sahar Nasr.
The first part of the conference will present the joint study and its conclusions. The second part will focus on the report’s implications on Egypt and future steps for the MENA region, outlining strategies and priorities for future operations, along with a discussion of the operational strategies of the three institutions involved.