IMF: UAE-Saudi on the right path of reforms

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are moving in the right direction with regards to economic reforms, but Oman and Bahrain may need to speed up their pace because of their lower financial buffers, an IMF official said.

The UAE, the most diversified economy in the Arabian Gulf region and the second largest in the Arab World, is implementing a slew of reforms to help tame a fiscal deficit exacerbated by low oil prices. These reforms include the removal of energy subsidies, introduction of excise taxes this year and value added tax next year and lower spending. All these steps are paying off, according to Jihad Azour, the Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy and the world’s biggest oil exporter, is on the right path as it slows down its fiscal consolidation efforts which hurt growth in the first half of this year.

Source Credit: The National
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