Banking and Financial Systems in the Arab World by Philip Molyneux; Munawar Iqbal

By Philip Molyneux; Munawar Iqbal

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In Egypt, the banking and finance sector, the industrial sector and agriculture are the main economic activities, contributing about 60 per cent of GDP over the period 1990-9. The share of these economic areas has not shown noticeable changes during 1990-9. 2 billion through the second quarter of 1999). As a result of the privatization programme, the private sector's role has steadily expanded in key sectors such as metals (aluminium, iron, and steel), petrochemicals, cement, automobiles, textiles, consumer electronics, and pharmaceuticals (US Commercial Service/Egypt, 2001).

Finally, lack of adequate institutional and legal frameworks for investment in many Arabian countries has resulted in lack of transparency in the regulatory environment. However, since the mid-1990s, many Arabian countries have become members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which has enhanced transparency and increased credibility of these countries in terms of their trading performance. Economic reforms and the globalization process During the 1980s and early 1990s, many Arabian governments faced unfavourable economic conditions, represented by rising rates of unemployment and increasing social demands associated with sluggish economic growth.

In addition to the aforementioned problems, Jordan's economic performance was impeded by its limited resources as well as by policy-induced structural weaknesses in various sectors. , 1997a). Maciejewski and Mansur (1996) indicate that Jordan's budget was affected by high military expenditures and extensive subsidy programmes (including those on basic foods, energy, agricultural production and transportation). In the agriculture sector, subsidized water and support of producers' prices contributed to an inefficient use of resources.

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