Cradle of Civilization
The region is not only home to the remains of the world's oldest civilizations, but offers also a lot of potential for the future: from a digitally skilled youth with innovative ideas to deserts full of solar panels and fields full of biological vegetables. Moreover, each country has its own economic vision for the future, in which welcoming foreign companies and trade is a core element.
The Middle East and North Africa is not only huge (2.5 times the EU), but also economically very divers. Some countries depend on oil rents, while for others foreign trade is their main source of income. While in one agriculture is the most important national employer, the other country focuses on high-end industry and manufacturing. However, all offer opportunities for foreign companies.
Although the region is politically and economically connected through the Arab League and GAFTA, in practice some groups of countries cooperate and trade more with each other than with other countries. The Gulf states are a well-known example, but also Tunisia, Algeria and Libya have strong (trade) bonds. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are among the most influential countries in the region.
Inhabitants: 370.9 mill. (31% <14 yrs)
GDP per capita: $ 8549
Unemployment: 10% (27% 15-24 yrs)
Education: 40.8% tertiary education
GDP: $2860 billion (+1.8%)
Import/export: $1228/1332 billion
FX rate loc. cur./EUR: 0.25 (infl. 1.5%)
Best position: 11st EoDB (20th GCR)
FDI (net): $45.7 billion (+7.5%)
Economic multi-annual plans
Free trade and economic zones
Fiscal and legal benefits
Tax, invest. & economic treaties NL
Euromed, EU Free Trade Area's
GCC, GAFTA, UAM, COMESA, OPEC
Most trade with CN, IN, US, JP & KR
Data Population (WB database '17), Economy (IMF database '17, WB database '17, XE.com '19, Ease of Doing Business '18, Global Competitiveness Report '18), Investment (World Investment Report '18), International (IMF database '18)
Photo: Robert Haandrikman