Throughout the course of 2018, the macroeconomic picture improved for both oil-importers and oil-exporters. Egypt witnessed a sizeable rebound in GDP growth while Saudi Arabia and Qatar have benefitted from fiscally prudent measures and higher oil prices. Jordan’s tax hikes were met with popular outcry but the IMF-recommended measure is expected to gradually bring down the high debt-to-GDP ratio from around 96% of GDP to 77% of GDP in 2021.
As for Lebanon, it is eagerly waiting to unlock the $11 billion of loans and grants pledged by the international community during the CEDRE conference and to kick-start much needed reforms.
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Lebanon and MENA Operating Environment 2018