Goldman’s emerging markets guru — who invented the BRICs — Jim O’Neill takes a bullish stance on the Arab revolutions (via Zerohedge).
Basically the uprisings are about people demanding a higher quality of life. Thus is a key step in the maturation of MENA economies.
On Egypt per se, I stick with the same broad judgments outlined in that piece. As an N11 economy, Egypt has the potential to grow dramatically in coming decades if their 80 million – and rising – population is allowed and encouraged to enjoy the same opportunities many of the rest of us face.
Looking at the MENA issue more broadly, and including the whole of the Middle East, Iran is another N11 country, which likewise has significant potential. A different leadership there would be especially interesting as, below the surface, Iran has some attributes that would allow the country to advance much more easily than others. Its Growth Environment Score (GES) is notably higher than a number of N11 countries.
Of other individual countries, Saudi Arabia is particularly important, not least as its key role as a major oil producer. It is also important as regional power within the GCC. Although Saudi Arabia doesn’t have enough people to warrant inclusion in the N11 economies (as population is the sole criteria), it is currently the largest economy in the region and, has some potential to be regarded as a “Growth Market”, i.e., being 1 pct of global GDP at some stage in the future. The policy response of the Saudi leadership last week to spread the benefits of the country’s vast wealth is an important development in my view.
The only dangerous threat in the uprisings is oil supply. Of course that’s not a problem for Arab countries.