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Sir Suma Chakrabarti: Private sector is key for growth of MENA region

14 February 2017


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Corruption, political instability, unreliable electricity supplies, poor access to finance, skills gaps and excessive red tape, are what stunt the growth of the private sector in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region.

Corruption, political instability, unreliable electricity supplies, poor access to finance, skills gaps and excessive red tape, are what stunt the growth of the private sector in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region.

Speaking on the final day of the World Government Summit 2017 in Dubai, the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Sir Suma Chakrabarti, revealed the six obstacles as part of the findings of a recent survey conducted across MENA, in partnership with the European Investment Bank and the World Bank.

“The findings of the Enterprise Survey Report on what’s holding back private sector development in MENA drew on responses from some 6,000 firms,” said Sir Chakrabarti. “It’s a comprehensive survey that has a much broader reach than the four countries the EBRD currently works in, in Mena.”

He added the survey included countries such as Djibouti, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Yemen, Morocco, Tunis, Egypt and Jordan.

“Our findings are daunting, but I’m optimistic about the chances of dismantling them bit by bit,” he said. “I base that optimism on the readiness on which national governments and entrepreneurs are moving to remedy these problems themselves.”

He stressed that the formal private sector is MENA’s main engine for growth and job creation. “We know it’s potential is there and our optimism about our role in the development of the private sector fully rests on sound foundations,” he said. “Foundations of our own track records and expertise in this area, within the 25 years of our existence.”