The Economic Research Forum (ERF) will hold a conference on Monetary and Fiscal Institutions in Resource-Rich Arab Economies on November 4-5, 2015, in Kuwait City, Kuwait. The event, being held in cooperation with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, is intended to address the challenges facing macroeconomic institutions in oil-rich Arab countries, particularly those responsible for monetary and fiscal policies.
The problem is that while oil-rich Arab countries account for close to half of global oil reserves and a quarter of natural gas reserves, they have neither achieved economic prosperity nor approached the ranks of developed nations. The efficiency (or lack thereof) of monetary and fiscal institutions in resource-rich Arab economies could explain this phenomenon, at least partially.
More than 100 participants from the region and abroad will examine the prospects and policy options for achieving fiscal and monetary stability in oil-rich Arab countries. Over five sessions and a panel discussion, experts will try to understand the rules and procedures governing fiscal and monetary policies in oil-rich Arab countries, the degree of independence and interaction between fiscal and monetary institutions, and the influence of politics on both.
Regional policy leaders and experts participating at the conference include former Kuwaiti Minister of Finance Abdlatif Al-Hamad, Kuwaiti former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Al-Sabah, Economic Advisor at the Amiri Diwan Yousef H. Al Ebraheem, former Egyptian Minister of Finance Ahmed Galal, Ibrahim Elbadawi (Dubai Economic Council), Samir Makdisi (American University in Beirut) and Sami Atallah (Lebanese Center for Policy Studies).
World renowned experts who will speak at the conference include Adeel Malik (University of Oxford), Jeffrey Nugent (University of Southern California), Michael L. Ross (University of California), Emilie J. Rutledge (United Arab Emirates University), Raimundo Soto (Universidad Católica de Chile) and Shantayanan Devarajan (World Bank).
“Oil-rich Arab countries control almost a third global of oil production and 14 percent of the production of natural gas. The hydrocarbon sector dominates most of these economies, which derive at least two-thirds of their fiscal revenues from that sector,” commented Galal, ERF’s managing director. “Nevertheless, despite this tremendous wealth these countries have been unable to achieve adequate development levels. Hopefully, by examining the role of monetary and fiscal institutions we can start to uncover the path towards overcoming this phenomenon.”