Economics & Business Opportunities Home About the Gulf Economics & Business Opportunities

Economics & Business Opportunities

The Gulf’s US$1.7 trillion economy is growing steadily - expected to reach $2 trillion by 2020 - as governments diversify their economies, regional trade rises and the role of private sector businesses increases. In terms of both economic growth and individual wealth, the Middle East as a whole ranks among the world’s top emerging markets, as the illustration below shows.

The Gulf economy has expanded rapidly in recent years, with estimated growth rate of around 6% in the non-hydrocarbon sector, as wealth from oil and gas is increasingly invested in diversification projects within the region. This growth has attracted international investment in a range of sectors from Europe, America and, increasingly, from Asia, as businesses look to access one of the world’s most important growth markets.

Trade between countries in the Middle Eastern and North African region is expanding, providing more opportunities for the private sector. In 2014, the MENA region’s current account balance reached US$223.4 billion, representing a growth rate of 7% from 2013.


MENA GDP Growth Stronger than Growth in Advanced Economies:

Source: IMF World Economic Outlook (April 2015 update)