Wealth gap between Gulf states, turmoil-hit Arab countries on the rise: IIF

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-5-14 9:51:40

The Gulf Arab countries were growing solidly while Arab countries hit by the turmoil would still struggle to find their way back on the growth track, George Abed, the director for Africa and Middle East of the global bank association IIF, said on Monday.

Abed said, while the Gulf states benefit from constantly high oil prices, increasing economic diversification and generous public spending, Arab countries which witnessed unrest, such as Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Morocco and Jordan are struggling to back on track, "not to talk about Syria which suffers the most from ongoing violent clashes."

When presenting the IIF's annual assessment of the of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, Abed said they would grow by 3.8 percent in 2013, down from 5.8 percent last year.

On the contrary, Abed added, the post-turmoil countries would grow by an average of 1 percent "which is even less than their population growth."

"I am somewhat pessimistic for Arab turmoil countries, because so far there are no political figures and advocates of a free market economy are in sight who are capable to manage the much needed turnaround," said Abed.

Meanwhile, the GCC was also in danger of being affected by political radicalization which was on the rise among the jobless youngsters in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya, Abed warned.

Posted in: Economy

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