During the World Governments Summit in Dubai, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva expressed confidence in the global economic outlook, despite uncertainties related to war and geopolitics. She highlighted the resilience of the global economy in the face of these uncertainties and discussed the potential savings from phasing out explicit energy subsidies.
Georgieva announced that the IMF would be publishing a paper showing that eliminating explicit energy subsidies could save the Middle East $336 billion, which is equivalent to the economies of Iraq and Libya combined. She emphasized the potential benefits of eliminating these subsidies, including discouraging pollution and improving social spending.
In its latest regional economic update, the IMF revised its GDP growth forecast for the Middle East and North Africa region downward to 2.9% this year, citing short-term oil production cuts as a contributing factor. Despite this, Georgieva expressed confidence in the economic outlook, noting the global economy’s surprising resilience.
Georgieva also addressed the conflict in Gaza, warning of potential widening consequences. She highlighted the challenges faced by economies still recovering from previous shocks and emphasized the potential economic harm caused by further escalation of the conflict. The speech was reported by Maha El Dahan and Federico Maccioni, with writing by Rachna Uppal and editing by William Mallard and Sonali Paul.