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GCC growth outspeeds Mena based on infrastructure projects

Dual-speed development will continue over the next two years

The GCC region’s economy is expected to grow by 4.7 per cent in 2014, due to large infrastructure projects, reveals a report from QNB.

It states that growth this year has been estimated at 3.7 per cent, as Gulf countries continue to provide financing for the rest of the Mena region, enhancing access to export markets.

The IMF’s most recent World Economic Outlook highlights mixed performance across the Mena region, with growth reported in oil-producing economies, while political uncertainty and lack of investment detained developments in other nations. On the whole, GCC countries are growing rapidly, mainly boosted by large infrastructure endeavors.

According to the report, the dual-speed development will continue over the next two years, with GCC countries acting as the locomotive for growth in the Mena region and main source of investment and financing.

While the Mena region’s economy is growing by 2.1 per cent in 2013, which is expected to reach 3.8 per cent next year, the overall figure masks a significant difference in performance between oil exporters – including GCC countries – and oil importers. Last year’s 2.7 per cent growth in the Mena region’s oil importers is expected to fall to 1.6 per cent in 2013 and then recover to 3.2 per cent in 2014, reports Gulf News.

Mena countries will continue towards economic transition, owing mainly to a decent GCC outlook, which QNB believes is a boon for regional growth. However, caution must be given to the external environment in oil-importing countries, which remains volatile based on the ongoing conflict in Syria.