PARTNERSHIP WITH ARAB COUNTRIES IN TRANSITION
Today, Secretary Tim Geithner chaired a meeting of finance ministers and
representatives of key international financial institutions to advance work
under the Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition, a unique
forum launched last year in response to the historic changes in the Middle East
and North Africa. Participation in the Partnership includes the five
transitioning countries (Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, and Libya), G-8
countries, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, and
10 international financial institutions (IFIs).
The Middle East and North Africa
region is undergoing one of the most important transitions of our time. In the face of numerous challenges, the five transitioning
countries have taken steps to solidify their movement toward democracy and
advance economic development. However, these countries face growing economic
challenges, including a difficult external environment and, for some countries,
delays in the political transition. The Partnership provides a valuable
platform through which the international community is engaging with and helping
these transitioning countries to achieve their objectives of inclusive,
The Partnership agreed to explore a
new Transition Fund that will provide grants, technical assistance, and
knowledge exchange, with due consideration to bilateral and multilateral
assistance, to help countries strengthen their institutions and develop and
implement home-grown reforms. The United States, United Kingdom, European
Union, Saudi Arabia, France, and Italy agreed to work together with other
partners to advance this initiative.
Capital Markets Access
Recognizing the importance of
assisting countries in maintaining financial stability, the Partnership agreed
to launch a new initiative to help countries regain access to private capital
to spur growth and unlock potential investments in the region. The Capital
Markets Access initiative aims to help countries like Egypt and Tunisia close
their substantial financing gaps. As part of this initiative, the United States
is moving forward to extend a loan guarantee to Tunisia to support the issuance
of a sovereign bond on international markets.
European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development Expansion
In 2011, the Partnership agreed to
support the extension of the geographic mandate of the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to the Middle East and North Africa
region. To date, 24 EBRD members, including the United States, have taken steps
to make this expansion effective. The Partnership called on all members to
proceed as quickly as possible with ratification of the necessary amendments.
The EBRD will eventually have the capacity to invest as much as $3 billion
Euros a year in the region.
Last year the IFIs established a
dedicated Coordination Platform to better leverage the collective resources of
the 10 IFIs that work in the region. Today, the Partnership called on these
IFIs, which are now participating in the Partnership, to deliver on their
commitments in the short term, particularly in the area of job creation and
small and medium enterprise (SME) development. Examples of ways in which the IFIs
are providing concrete support to the transitioning countries this year
The provision of development policy loans to Tunisia (African
Development Bank and World Bank), Jordan (World Bank), and Morocco (World Bank)
underpinning governance, private sector reforms and domestic markets.
In Tunisia, the African Development Bank is supporting SME credit lines
and rural infrastructure to support inclusive growth.
Support for public-private partnerships through the Arab Financing
Facility for Infrastructure, launched last year by the World Bank and Islamic
Development of relevant post-secondary education skills in the region
through the International Financial Corporation “e4e Initiative for Arab
Please see attached communique
for more information.