"The sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East must be used to support growth, as the region's economies suffer from the Coronavirus pandemic and severe damage from falling oil prices," said Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia department at the International Monetary Fund.
According to the International Monetary Fund, oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa region are expected to witness a decline in oil export revenues this year of $226 billion. This will likely put pressure on their budgets, which increases the budget deficit, and is likely to limit the ability of governments to support the economic growth.
Azour pointed out that "oil exporters need to find new areas for growth in light of the current slowdown caused by the sharp drop in oil prices and the outbreak of the new Coronavirus," saying that "sovereign wealth funds and regional institutions can play a role in that."
Azour expected that the economies of oil-exporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa will witness a 4.2 percent contraction in real GDP this year, down from previous expectations of 2.1 percent growth, calling for speeding up reforms aimed at diversifying the economies in the region.
Source (Al-Arabiya.net website, Edited)