In the past decade, many countries in the Middle East have struggled with economic development. This isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon, however, as several countries in the region have always struggled to gain an economic footing, for a variety of reasons. However, many countries have certainly regressed on some economic progress that was made. This leads to the current imperative that exists in the sociopolitical arena to rebuild many of these economies. By further achieving economic stability in the Middle East, along with the current growth of middle African countries, the world moves closer to a more global, stable economy that supports more and more of the world’s population. Here is some information on what must happen to rebuild several of these Middle Eastern economies…
Must diversify beyond oil
By far, the largest source of economic prosperity in the Middle East has been oil. Many countries in the region depend on producing and exporting oil for significant portions of their GDP. This is quite a dangerous way to run an economy, however. Just like a private business, a nation’s economy must focus on diversification of its industries. If each country in the Middle East depended on a healthy market for oil to stay afloat, they would be doomed to series of economic contractions every time the price of oil drops, such as it is now. By employing economic diversification, other industries will go through periods of growth when the oil industry drops, thus offsetting losses in GDP.
Rich countries in the region must take charge
In order for an entire region of the globe to undergo an economic revolution, there must be national leaders to spearhead the drive to a new standard. There are several countries in the Middle East that are incredibly wealthy and have the power to do this. Turkey, the highest purchasing power in the region, is probably the best candidate for this job. Other rich nations, such as Qatar, are too dependent on oil to provide a good model for economic growth in the region, while Turkey is a prime example of a successful, liberalized economy at work. The issue is that Turkey often puts itself at odds with other, poorer countries in the region, rather than work to lift up the prosperity of its neighbors.
Conflicts drag down economic solidarity
The number one thing that must change in the Middle East, in order to achieve some level of economic prosperity in the region, is that the incessant conflicts must stop. These conflicts tear apart any possibility of economic solidarity that is needed to lift an entire region up. Recently, in Syria, we have seen how an ideological civil war has decimated the economy beyond recognition. It will be decades before Syria is able to recover.