Fourth Annual Arab Fiscal Forum: Laying the Foundations of Good Fiscal Management in the Arab Countries

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

February 9, 2019


Saturday, February 9, 2019

8:30– 9:00

Welcome Addresses

H.E. Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Ministry of Finance, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, Director General Chairman of the Board, Arab Monetary Fund (AMF)

Keynote Speech

Mme. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) 
English ► :   العربية   :  français 
9:00– 10:00

Session 1. Macroeconomic Developments and Prospects

The ongoing cyclical recovery provides an opportunity to build buffers and implement structural reforms aimed at boosting potential growth, which remains relatively low. This session examines the recent global and regional economic developments and outlook, with a focus on key fiscal policy challenges.

Chair: H.E. Shukri Bishara, Minister of Finance, Palestine, Chairman of the Council of Arab Finance Ministers

Keynote SpeakerMr. Jihad Azour, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF 

General Discussion

10:00– 10:15

Coffee Break

10:15– 12:00

Session 2. Fiscal Rules and Frameworks

Fiscal rules are widely used. If properly designed and effectively implemented, fiscal rules can help fiscal sustainability, enhance transparency, and signal to financial markets the course of fiscal policy. The session will examine the extent to which fiscal rules could be useful in Arab countries, taking into account the specific challenges in the countries of the region.

Chair: H.E. Dr. Mohammed bin Abdullah. AI-Jadaan, Minister of Finance, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Keynote SpeakerMr. Abdelhak Senhadji, Deputy Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF

Keynote SpeakerMr. Niels Thygesen, Chairman of European Fiscal Board (EFB)

Lessons from Arab Regions

  • H.E. Mohamed Rida Shalghoom, Finance Minister, The Republic of Tunisia
  • H.E. Mohamed Benchaaboun, Finance Minister, Kingdom of Morocco
  • H.E. Alain Bifani, Secretary General, Ministry of Finance, Lebanon

General Discussion

12:00– 13:30


13:30– 15:15

Session 3. Debt Management: Experiences and Lessons Learned

The level of public debt is rising in many Arab countries. Thus, appropriate debt management is increasingly important in the region. In recent years, many Arab countries have made progress in strengthening debt management capacity, including by creating debt management offices and enhancing their capacity. This session will take stock of the progress so far and discuss the way forward.

Chair: H.E. Darwish Bin Ismail Al Balushi, Minister of Financial Affairs, Sultanate of Oman

Keynote Speaker: Mr. Lars Jessen, Lead Debt Specialist, Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice, World Bank Group

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Nouran Youssef, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, Economic & Technical Department, AMF

Lessons from Arab Regions

  • H.E. Dr. Mohamed Maait, Finance Minister, Arab Republic of Egypt
  • H.E. Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, Minister of Finance and National Economy, Kingdom of Bahrain
  • H.E. Dr Riyad Abdulrahman Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Finance of Abu Dhabi, UAE

General Discussion

15:15– 15:30

Coffee Break

15:30– 17:15

Session 4. Coordination Between Fiscal and Monetary Policies

Effective coordination between fiscal and monetary policies is necessary for good macroeconomic management. What does proper coordination entail and how best to achieve it? The session will explore the scope for enhanced coordination between fiscal and monetary policies in Arab countries.

Chair: Mutaz Mousa Abdulla Salem, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Republic of the Sudan

Keynote Speaker: Mr. Vitor Gaspar, Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF

Keynote Speaker: Mr. Juan Carlos Echeverry Garzón, Former Minister of Finance, Colombia

Lessons from Arab Regions

  • H.E. Mubarak Rashid Al Mansouri, Governor, Central Bank of UAE
  • Abderrahmane Raouia, Minister of Finance, Democratic Republic of Algeria  
  • Dr. El Moctar Ould Djay, Minister of Economy & Finance, The Islamic Republic of Mauritania

General Discussion

17:15– 17:45

Closing Session. Ministerial Round Table