During the past decades, countries in the Middle East and North Africa have introduced a number of measures and reforms to promote the development of the private sector as a driver of jobs and development. Those reforms have varied in depth and form and have included opening up to trade and investment; improving the regulatory environment for businesses; promoting the development of financial markets; and the enactment of enterprise development policies. MENA countries have also implemented policies to promote the development of entrepreneurship and small businesses in recognition of the significant role those actors can play in the economy.

This report constitutes an interim assessment of the main policy reforms for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) undertaken by Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Tunisia (the MED economies or the MED region), since the publication of the SME Policy Index for the Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa 2014: Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe.

The objective of the report is to inform governments, private sector organisations, social partners, civic interest groups, donors and other stakeholders of the progress in the implementation of the key actions of, and the level of convergence with, the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA). It also aims to sustain the process of regional dialogue among MED economies and the co-operation between the region, the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

For the OECD, PA is an abbreviation of “Palestinian Authority” and defines either the territories in the West Bank and Gaza under the administration of the Palestinian Authority, or the Palestinian Authority itself, according to the context. For the European Commission and the EU institutions contributing to the report, PA stands for “Palestine and its institutions”. This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the EU Member States on this issue.

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