The Post-Saddam Boom

(Wall Street Journal) Glenn Yago and Don McCarthy - With 80 million people in the Middle East living in poverty and 15% to 20% unemployment rates, the urgency of economic growth and job creation to absorb the growing labor force is vital. This past year, Iran and Saudi Arabia - the region's two largest economies by purchasing power - grew by 6.2% and 6.4%, respectively, in real terms. Of particular note is the impressive performance of Kuwait and the UAE, both of which grew more than 6% last year in real terms. Of course, Middle Eastern economies, while improving, still lag other markets, especially in one key area: access to capital for entrepreneurs. But when one looks at the success these countries have had in growing their markets in the past two years, and the reforms they are starting to make to open up their markets, the news from the region is hopeful. Mr. Yago is director of capital studies and Mr. McCarthy a research analyst at the Milken Institute.

2005-01-13 00:00:00

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