in: Economic and Social Issues in the Middle East and North African Countries, Nilgün ÇİL YAVUZ, Editor, NOVA Publications , New-York, pp.1-20, 2013
The Middle East and North African (MENA) countries have recently witnessed important complex economic, social and political changes and transitions. These changes resulted from not only social and political reasons called “The Arab Spring,” but also economic reasons from the global economic crisis. External and internal dynamics of the MENA region forces governments into an important transformation in terms of better democratic mechanisms, better governance and a better social, political and economic environment. It is vital for the MENA region to establish a modern and world class social, political and economic structure in order to increase sustainable improvements of the welfare of the society as soon as possible.
MENA economies have a great degree of heterogeneity across countries. The main source of economic growth is natural resources, especially oil, natural gas and primary goods for many MENA economies. For this reason, the fluctuations in energy prices in the global economy deeply affects the economic performance and macroeconomic indicators of these economies. Therefore, MENA economies are exposed to macroeconomic vulnerability in the case of internal and external economic, and political shocks because of their structural economic problems, low productivity and also global competitiveness level and foreign dependency in intermediate goods and finance.
In this perspective, the main aim of this book is to shed light on the main economic, social and political problems and characteristics of MENA economies by considering the latest in the global and regional turmoil.