The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, said on Sunday she was confident about the economic outlook despite uncertainties around war and geopolitics as the global economy has remained resilient.
In a speech at the World Governments Summit in Dubai, Georgieva said the IMF would publish a paper on Monday that shows phasing out explicit energy subsidies could save $336 billion in the Middle East, equivalent to the economies of Iraq and Libya combined.
She added that in addition to savings, eliminating regressive energy subsidies “discourages pollution, and helps improve social spending,” in a copy of the speech published on the IMF website.
In its latest regional economic update published last month, the IMF revised its GDP growth forecast for the Middle East and North Africa region downwards to 2.9% this year, due in part to short term oil production cuts.
“While uncertainties are still high, we can be a bit more confident about the economic outlook, because the global economy has been surprisingly resilient,” she said in the speech.
Speaking about the conflict in Gaza, Georgieva warned of widening consequences.
“This exceptionally uncertain moment compounds the challenges of economies that are still recovering from previous shocks. And further widening of the conflict would aggravate the economic harm,” she said.
First Published: Feb 11 2024 | 3:34 PM IST