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Subs
1. GDP per capita
2. GDP
3. Economic freedom
4. Investment friendly
5. Corruption

These articles allow you to compare all MENA countries for each factor.
By country


Turkey Iran Iraq Oman Saudi Arabia Egypt Sudan Libya Syria Yemen Israel Tunisia Lebanon Algeria Morocco Mauritania United Arab Emirates Kuwait Western Sahara Qatar Jordan
Index /
Economy


Overview over economic conditions, politics and living standards of MENA countries; that is the countries of the Middle East and North Africa.
The MENA region has economies ranging from some of the world's worst to the richest. Distance need not be a factor, like from the poor Yemen to the extremely rich Qatar it is only a 2 hours flight.
Economies of the MENA are largely a question of oil or no oil. Only 3 countries challenge this sad fact. Israel is the only innovative country in the Middle East, but also benefitting from its good relations to Western countries, like the USA; Turkey has long traditions of producing good products; and Tunisia has in recent decades emerged as possibly the only Muslim country that has developped a real welfare state (although clearly less affluent than European countries) without the aid of substantial natural resources.
Oil has still not been as much of a blessing as it could have been, for decades great revenues were simply wasted. Saudi Arabia is today far from the wealthy society many believe it is; compared to European countries it is between Portugal (7% richer) and Estonia (8% poorer). One could say that such an economy as the Saudi has a rich state and elite, but where a major part of the population differ surprisinly little in living standards compared to poor countries.
Another example of lost chances has long been Iraq, which wasted much of its wealth on war through the 1980's and 1990's. One could say that instaead of building the country, Iraq used its revenues on the dream of being the leading force in the region. Another countries, allocating much of its wealth on silly dreams of international influence was, and is, Libya. Libya have had incredible revenues for decades, but today, had it been part of the European Union, it would have qualified for transfers of funds according to regulations of regional aid for poor member states. In brief, GDP/capita in Libya is 15% less than Poland's.
In recent decades, oil producing countries have come to terms with the fact that oil revenues will fall and eventually end. And in some cases, like Bahrain's, that day is not all too many years ahead. The question is simple, and answer complex: What will we live off the day oil ends?
Diversification in national economy, but also the build-up of foreign investments for future profit have been given increasingly more attention. Both industries have been welcomed, as well as tourism, the establishment of business centres, and even agriculture in previous barren land.
In one field, oil rich countries of MENA have been able to conduct a policy of responsibility where European countries have failed dramatically. No foreign worker to MENA countries have been give permanent residence and they are expected to return to their home countries when too old, or when their work contracts end.
With the exception of Israel and Turkey, the whole MENA region still relies upon impluses and skills from the outside world. Education is therefore given great attention in many countries, but in particular those countries with oil resources (see Education).




By Tore Kjeilen