World Economy

Arab Fund, WB to Boost Regional Finance Sector

Arab Fund, WB to Boost Regional Finance SectorArab Fund, WB to Boost Regional Finance Sector

The Arab Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group (WBG) Saturday signed an enhanced partnership framework to support countries in the Arab region in developing their economies and financial markets.

This initiative will include collaboration on joint strategies for promoting the development of financial markets and trade among countries; supporting economic stabilization; and accelerating broad-based and inclusive economic growth and job creation in the Arab region, TradeArabia reported.

“The World Bank and the Arab Monetary Fund have collaborated on a number of initiatives over the years and given our fruitful cooperation in the past, we are here to strengthen this partnership further,” said World Bank vice-president for the Mena region Hafez Ghanem.

“This new partnership framework brings together the elements of our joint engagement with the Arab Monetary Fund under one umbrella in a more structured, ambitious and comprehensive manner.

‘It also brings the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC), our private sector arm, together as one World Bank Group.”?

The framework was signed by Mena vice-president Hafez Ghanem, Arab Monetary Fund director general Dr Abdulrahman Al Hamidy and IFC regional director for the Middle East and North Africa Mouayed Makhlouf.

Cooperation under this memorandum of understanding will enable each institution to leverage its respective core competencies and comparative advantage as well as to consolidate, strengthen and broaden the ongoing collaboration.

  Top Priorities

“The Arab Monetary Fund’s extensive experience in assisting financial sector development in the Arab region, and in supporting capacity development effort in our member countries, has always been among our top priorities,” said Dr Al Hamidy.

“We look forward to pursuing and intensifying this effort to better tackle the needs in the region.”?

The AMF and WBG specific support to Arab countries will focus on technical assistance and awareness raising in three areas: financial sector infrastructure including payment systems, credit information sharing systems and collateral registries; financial channels and vehicles such as bond market development, early stage innovation, financing for start-ups, Islamic finance, housing finance and SME stock exchanges; and financial sector inclusion and access, including on providing access to finance by micro enterprises, SMEs, firms, households and individuals, and developing mobile banking and mobile money.

The Arab Monetary Fund and IFC have in the past few years helped establish more business and regulatory environments for private credit bureaus in these countries.