The economic crisis in the turbulent geopolitics of the Middle East and North Africa
Chemistry LT B (2.17)
Development in the Downturn? The Impact of the Recession on the Global South
Speaker: Professor George Joffe, The Global Policy Institute/Centre for International Studies, University of Cambridge.
Surprisingly, the Middle East and North Africa suffered relatively little as a result of the economic and financial crisis in Europe and the United States. In part, this was because they were both victims and beneficiaries of the consequent global effects. Thus, although remittance income generally declined for non-oil economies, energy costs did too as oil prices fell. Even the oil economies, despite the precipitate falls in oil prices, had been shielded by the high price levels before July 2008 when the fall began. Thus, although sovereign wealth funds saw a decline of 15 per cent in the value of their investments, only Dubai (hardly an oil economy anyway) suffered severe recession. North Africa, given its dependence on the European market, was the worst-affected but, even here, good harvests mitigated the social consequences. However, given the worldwide recession, the picture in the region may worsen in the years to come, not to speak of the worsening geopolitical situation which can only be exacerbated by economic and financial tensions.
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