IMF forecasts higher economic growth for Arab region in 2024 - GulfToday

IMF forecasts higher economic growth for Arab region in 2024


Kristalina Georgieva speaks during the World Governments Summit in Dubai on Monday. Agence France-Presse

Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), highlighted the increasing significance of the Arab region in a rapidly evolving global landscape. She projected that the total GDP growth for the Middle East region would reach 2.9% this year, surpassing the figures from 2023.

Speaking on the sidelines of the pre-summit day of WGS 2024’s Eighth Arab Fiscal Forum, Georgieva emphasised the enduring partnership between the Arab world and the International Monetary Fund.

Despite uncertainties, “the global economy has been surprisingly resilient,” IMF Managing Director added.

The IMF Chief also anticipated a decline in global inflation rates for 2024, while underscoring that medium-term global growth prospects remain at around 3%, compared to the historical average of 3.8%.

WGS 2024, themed “Shaping Future Governments,” kicked off on Monday in Dubai with over 4,000 participants from various sectors engaging in 110 interactive sessions. These sessions feature 200 speakers from 80 international, regional, and intergovernmental organisations.

Meanwhile, the UAE, represented by the UAE Ministry of Finance, signed agreements related to the encouragement and protection of investments and double taxation avoidance, with each of the State of Kuwait, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and other agreements with the Arab Republic of Egypt and the World Bank.

The signings took place on the sidelines of the World Governments Summit (WGS) 2024 held from 12th to 14th February in Dubai under the theme of “Shaping Future Governments”.

The agreements aim to boost developmental goals, diversify the national income sources for the UAE, and avoid double taxation, additional taxes, indirect taxes, tax evasion, and address the challenges of cross-border trade and investment flows. The agreements also account for tax challenges and keep pace with global changes in the economy and financial sectors, new financial instruments, transfer pricing mechanisms, and encourage the exchange of goods and services and the movement of capital.

Mohamed Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, said, “These agreements stem from the Ministry of Finance’s commitment to achieving transparency and fairness and enhancing the national economy through strengthening strategic partnerships with various countries and the World Bank, and expanding the frameworks of joint cooperation in different economic and financial fields, contributing to the increase of opportunities and development of joint investments.”

He added, “These agreements are significant; besides their inclusion of cooperation in the tax fields, increasing investment opportunities and encouraging trade exchange, they come during the World Governments Summit 2024, the leading global platform aimed at exchanging expertise, ideas, and government experiences, anticipating the future, and promoting growth and prosperity in the world.”

The UAE Ministry of Finance signed with the World Bank Group a second renewal agreement for the payable advisory services agreement between the UAE and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which serves as an umbrella for technical support services agreements to be signed between federal and local entities in the country to benefit from the technical support services provided by the World Bank. This marks the second renewal of the agreement, initially signed in 2014 and first renewed in 2019. The agreement was signed by Mohamed Hadi Al Hussaini and Ajay Banga, President of WBG.

“Partnership plays a critical role in turning our ambitions into action,” said Ajay Banga. “This new chapter of collaboration between the World Bank and the UAE is a step forward in advancing knowledge that is critical to delivering impact for the UAE and globally.”

For his part, Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance and National Economy of Bahrain, highlighted the historic and longstanding relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the UAE. He pointed out the need to continue working to strengthen existing collaborations and forge new cooperations, especially in the financial, economic and investment fields. He indicated that the encouragement and protection of investments agreement and the double tax avoidance agreement come within the framework of joint efforts to develop economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two nations.

Dr. Anwar Al Mudhaf, Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Investments of the State of Kuwait, noted that the agreement is part of the economic and financial cooperation between the UAE and Kuwait, and it is expected that it will positively impact the citizens and investors from both countries.

Dr. Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance of Egypt, pointed out that the UAE and Egypt continue advancing cooperation, especially in the tax, economic, financial, and investment fields. He noted that the supplement agreement regarding double taxation avoidance and the prevention of income tax evasion is part of the efforts to enhance collaboration opportunities for joint investments.



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