Statement by the IMF Managing Director on the Peace to Prosperity Workshop

June 26, 2019

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement at the conclusion of her visit to Bahrain:

“I attended the Peace to Prosperity Workshop on June 25-26, 2019 in Manama along with other international financial institutions. There, I participated in a panel discussion on how best to improve economic growth in the Middle East region, including the West Bank and Gaza, drawing on lessons from international experience and emphasizing ways to foster greater economic inclusion.

“This workshop comes at a critical time for the region. Under the right conditions and by working together, the challenges facing the economies of the Middle East can be addressed and lead to improved living conditions of its people and the creation of much-needed jobs. Everyone has a part to play.

“For West Bank and Gaza, these right conditions include: (i) comprehensive reforms by the Palestinian authority focusing on enabling private sector-led growth and jobs, containing fiscal imbalances, and ensuring financial stability; (ii) eased restrictions by Israel on the movement of goods and people and capital both within West Bank and Gaza and on its trade with the rest of the world; and (iii) stronger financial support from international and regional donors to ensure the right kinds of investment—investments that boost growth, support the reforms of the Palestinian Authority, help stabilize Gaza, and which create jobs. Putting these conditions in place will help revitalize the economy of West Bank and Gaza, and also of the region.

“The IMF stands ready to work with all parties to help design policies that maximize the benefits from new investment in the region. To succeed, this work needs to be part of a broad multilateral effort, in consultation with governments in the region and other international institutions.

“Improving economic conditions and attracting lasting investment to the region depends ultimately on being able to reach a peace agreement. Peace, political stability, and re-establishment of trust between all the parties involved are essential pre-requisites to the success of any economic plan for the region.

“I would like to thank the Workshop hosts for their kind hospitality.”

IMF Communications Department


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