Economic Governance Reforms to Support Inclusive Growth in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia

Middle East USA World

While governance priorities will vary according to national circumstances, reforms could target: 

  • Greater transparency and accountability. This includes: broader access to information -including budget and central bank information, open and transparent procurement processes with publication of the contracts and as well as the owner of the company wining the contract (beneficial ownership), strong internal controls and external oversight of public finances that includes independent audit, greater accountability of State Owner Enterprise (SOE), and enhanced asset declaration regimes.
  • Streamlining rules and enforcing them well. Complexity of institutions that deal with taxation and public spending and related Public Finance Management (PFM) rules and regulations could be simplified, thereby increasing their efficiency. Streamlining business procedures would help reduce red tape -and vulnerabilities to corruption- and improve investment climate as would better enforcement of rules and an enhanced financial supervisory framework. 
  • Beefing up the anti-corruption framework by adopting laws and regulations, drawing on international conventions and good practices, putting in place effective institutions to enforce them, strengthening Anti Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) frameworks, and facilitating information-sharing at the domestic and international levels. 

High-level commitment and engagement of national stakeholders, particularly businesses, unions and civil society organizations, are key to successfully carry ambitious and sustainable reforms. Digitalization can transform government services and interactions with businesses and individuals thus increasing transparency, efficiency, accountability and public trust.

The IMF is supporting MENA countries through policy advice and capacity development to further improve governance, in particular in the areas of fiscal governance, central banking and financial supervision, AML/CFT, and statistics. With the approval of its enhanced framework for engagement on governance in 2018, the IMF has also expanded its surveillance to transnational aspects of corruption which include bribery of foreign officials and concealment of corruption proceeds.