RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has come a long way in diversifying its economy and forging partnership with the private sector, Ferid BelHajj, World Bank group vice president for Middle East and North Africa, told Al Arabiya.
The World bank is ready to support regional countries technically and financially on their economic reform journeys, he added.
There will be 300 million young people in the region that will need to be absorbed by the labor market, BelHajj said.
The private sector’s contribution must therefore be prioritized as it alone is capable of absorbing these new young workers, he said.
The World Bank VP stressed the importance of further opening the economies of the Middle East and North Africa to the private sector.
In a recent report, the World Bank warned that the public debt of the countries of the MENA region will inflate and represent 54 percent of their GDP this year, compared to 46 percent in 2019, due to COVID-19 related spending.