Assessing The Enabling Environment For The Private Sector In Arab Gulf Economies

By - Mehdi M Ali*

On joining the World Bank in 1972 my first assignment was as an “economist” dealing with Bahrain. I later added the other five GCC countries to my beat. The World Bank’s then advice to GCC governments was to diversify away from oil and gas, and to nurture a robust private sector to enable this. This remains the bank’s advice to this day.

In assessing the...