Towards New Arrangements for State Ownership in the Middle East and North Africa

image of Towards New Arrangements for State Ownership in the Middle East and North Africa

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 SOEs

English Arabic


How the GCC did it: formal and informal governance of successful public enterprise in the Gulf Co-operation Council countries

Like state apparatuses in the rest of the Middle East and North Africa, Gulf bureaucracies are not known as paragons of lean administration. This chapter explores the emergence of important “pockets of efficiency” in Gulf Cooperation Council countries' public sectors, namely in state-owned enterprises such as Saudi Aramco, Etisalat and others. In so doing, this analysis seeks to demonstrate that the success of Gulf-based state-owned enterprises can, to an extent, be explained by their adherence to some good corporate governance practices, but also to highlight that the way these principles have been implemented is often quite different than in other jurisdictions. Finally, this chapter seeks to isolate the elements that have contributed to the success of the state-owned enterprises and explore how these lessons can be extrapolated to other MENA jurisdictions.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error