Agenda

IMF Seminars, Conferences, and Workshops


The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region: The Challenges of Growth and Globalization
Conference organized by the IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department and the IMF Institute


Washington, DC, April 7–8, 2004
International Monetary Fund
Meeting Halls A and B


In order to stimulate high-level policy debate on some of the economic challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the period ahead, the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department and the IMF Institute will be hosting a Conference on "The Middle East and North Africa Region: The Challenges of Growth and Globalization" at IMF Headquarters during April 7-8, 2004. The conference will bring together officials and experts from central banks, governments, academic institutions, and regional and international organizations, both from within and outside the region. Some of the issues the conference will address include:

  • an assessment of the record of growth in the MENA region and the factors that might have helped or impeded the region's growth performance;
  • an examination of the role of reforms in the public sector and state institutions in fostering higher rates of sustainable growth;
  • reform of the financial sector and the potential impact on growth and investment;
  • the obstacles and opportunities for more meaningful economic integration of the MENA region in the global economy;
  • lessons from international experience that may help promote macroeconomic and structural reform in the region

Attendance at the conference is by invitation only. For further information please contact INSINFO@imf.org

Agenda
Wednesday, April 7
9:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m. Introduction/Welcome
George T. Abed, Special Advisor to the Managing Director, IMF

Opening Remarks
Agustin G. Carstens, Deputy Managing Director, IMF
   
9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Session I: The Challenge of Growth

Chair
:
Mohsin S. Khan, Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF
     
9:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m. 1.  Paper on "Some Lessons from the Recent Empirical Growth Literature"

Presenter:
Xavier Sala-i-Martin, Professor of Economics, Columbia University

Discussant:
Paul Cashin, Senior Economist, Western Hemisphere Department, IMF

General Discussion
     
10:45 a.m.–11:15 a.m. Coffee break
     
11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 2.  Paper on "Determinants of Growth in the MENA Region: An Overview"

Presenters:
George T. Abed and Hamid R. Davoodi, Senior Economist, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF

Discussant: Mahmoud Mohieddin, Professor of Economics, Cairo University

General Discussion
     
12:45 p.m.–2:15 p.m. Lunch break
     
2:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m. Session II: The Role of the Public Sector

Chair: Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister of Privatization, Pakistan
     
2:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m. 1. 

Paper on "Economic and Political Liberalizations"

Presenter: Guido Tabellini, Professor of Economics, IGIER, Bocconi University

Discussant:
Andrew Feltenstein, Assistant Director, IMF Institute

General Discussion

     
3:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Coffee break
     
4:00 p.m.–5:15 p.m. 2.  Paper on "Institutions and the Public Sector in Reforming the Public Finances in the MENA Countries"

Presenter:
Ehtisham Ahmad, Division Chief, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF

Discussant: Shantayanan Devarajan, Chief Economist, South Asia Regional Office, World Bank

General Discussion
     
Thursday, April 8
9:30 a.m.–12:30 a.m. Session III: The Role of the Financial Sector

Chair: Tomás J.T. Baliño, Deputy Director, Monetary and Financial Systems Department, IMF
     
9:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m. 1.  Paper on "The Financial Sector and Growth: An Overview"

Presenter:
Ross Levine, Professor of Finance, University of Minnesota

Discussant: Abdelhak Senhadji, Senior Economist, Asia and Pacific Department, IMF

General Discussion
     
10:45 a.m.–11:15 a.m. Coffee break
     
11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 2.  Paper on "Financial Sector Development in the Middle East and North Africa"

Presenter: Rishi Goyal, Economist, Monetary and Financial Systems Department, IMF

Discussant: Nasser Saidi, Saidi and Associates

General Discussion
     
12:45 p.m.–2:15 p.m. Lunch break
     
2:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Session IV: Global Integration of the MENA Countries

Chair: Saleh M. Nsouli, Deputy Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF
     
  1.  Paper on "Trade, Foreign Direct Investment and Development in the Middle East and North Africa"

Presenter:
Mustapha Nabli, Chief Economist, Middle East and North Africa Regional Office, World Bank

Discussant: Hans Peter Lankes, Division Chief, Policy Development and Review Department, IMF

General Discussion
     
3:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Coffee break
     
4:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Concluding Session
  • George T. Abed, Special Advisor to the Managing Director, IMF
  • Christiaan Poortman, Vice President, Middle East and North Africa Regional Office, World Bank
  • Mohsin S. Khan, Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF

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