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The role of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the Middle East and North African economies (MENA) has historically been and remains significant in terms of their contribution to the economic value added, employment and the provision of vital services. State-owned enterprises operate across a wide range of sectors in the region - hydrocarbons, banking, construction – but also in network industries. Despite the privatisations carried out during the 1980-1990s, the role of the state in Arab economies has not declined and in many ways have indeed increased, reflecting the growth of oil and gas SOEs, sovereign wealth funds and infrastructure development projects, often carried out with the involvement of the state. This publication seeks to provide insight into the varied and rich experience in SOE reform in the region over the past decade, highlighting reform initiatives undertaken at national and country specific levels. It is unique in highlighting the challenges faced by policymakers in reforming the governance of regional SOEsClick to Access:
- 05 Mar 2012
Priorities for improving governance and performance of state-owned enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa
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- Alissa Amico
The purpose of this introductory chapter is to contextualise recent efforts to reform corporate governance of state-owned companies in the Middle East and North Africa against the backdrop of the development of these economies. This chapter provides a brief overview of the origins of state-owned sectors in the region, outlining key trends that have affected their evolution, including privatisation and the establishment of sovereign wealth funds. The objective is not to cover all challenges that policy makers face in improving the governance frameworks and practices of state-owned enterprises in the region. Rather, the chapter seeks to provide an overview of a few high-priority issues with a view to identify good practices as well as highlight issues that deserve ongoing attention.