An in-depth look at the development challenges facing
the region and how they can be tackled.
The Potential of Renewable Energy in MENA
Many governments in the region have recently set ambitious
targets to revise their energy strategy and are increasingly
turning to renewable energy. They have also started implementing
the regulatory reforms required to achieve these targets.
According to the World Energy Outlook 2012, published by the Paris-based
International Energy Agency, the share of renewable energy in total
power generation in the Middle East is set to increase from the 2 percent
seen in 2010, to 12 percent by 2035.
Smaller Business Vital for Growth
The role of the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME)
sector cannot be over emphasized in terms of its contribution
to GDP and employment generation, particularly in emerging
economies. Studies indicate that formal SMEs contribute up to
45 percent of employment and up to 33 percent of GDP in
developing economies (IFC: Scaling-Up SME Access to Financial
Services in the Developing World 2010). These numbers are
significantly higher when taking into account the estimated
contributions of SMEs operating in the informal sector. In high
income countries, SMEs contribute nearly 64 percent to the
GDP and 62 percent to employment.
Private Sector Key to Developing Regional Infrastructure
A lack of employment opportunities is considered to be one
of the major driving factors behind public disaffection in
many countries across the region. In responding to these
issues, and in order to address recent unrest, regional
governments recognize the need to invest in infrastructure to
improve the quality and availability of public services.
In addition, infrastructure investments are considered to have
a multiplier effect on economic activity by supporting job creation
and promoting spill-over foreign direct investments.
Creating Jobs in Pakistan
By looking at IFC and HBL’s contribution to job creation
in Pakistan between 2009 and 2012, this study attempts
to identify sectors that show potential for strong SME
growth as well as to gain insights on how SMEs
use loans to grow. The findings of this study may prove
useful to inform the design and programming of future
IFC operations, particularly at a time when a country faces
slow growth, high unemployment, and declining SME
financing as in the case of Pakistan in recent years.
Lebanon Depends on SMEs
The key objectives of this study are (i) to measure the job
impact on SMEs from increased access to finance;
and (ii) to understand the broader development outcomes
facilitated by engagements in the financial sector.
The results are based on a survey implemented in March 2013
which sampled 73 companies that received loans from
FRANSABANK during 2008 and 2011. The enterprises ranged
from very small to medium firms including in the services,
agribusiness, and manufacturing sectors across the
five regions of Lebanon.