Occupying a strategic position at the crossroads of India, China and Thailand, and now in its seventh year of sweeping economic liberalisation and political transition, Myanmar remains one of the fastest-growing economies in South-east Asia.
Although Bahrain has faced economic headwinds in recent years, the modest recovery of oil prices in 2017 bodes well for the future in addition to the non-oil sector driving growth, with activities unrelated to hydrocarbons extraction forecast to expand by 3.9% in 2018.
Côte d’Ivoire has seen rapid growth since a decade-long bout of civil unrest ended in 2011, registering an average GDP growth rate of 9.3% in the five years to 2016. By far the biggest economy in the UEMOA and the third largest in ECOWAS, the IMF expects GDP expansion in the West African nation to be sustained, forecasting growth of above 7% through to 2019.
As Egypt enters 2018, a newly liberalised local currency and the recent implementation of a much-anticipated investment framework have left the country well positioned for continued economic expansion: the IMF expects GDP growth to reach 4.5% in 2018 and accelerate to around 6% over the medium term.
The effects of lower oil prices continue to be felt in Oman, with budget cuts and spending rationalisation still in evidence across the board. However, higher commodity prices in late 2017 and into early 2018 should provide a welcome boost to state revenues.
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