Privatisation in the Meda Region: Where do we stand?
This paper builds on a new database (PRIVMEDA) in order to assess the progress of the privatisation process in the MEDA countries of Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey. The first part of the paper offers an overview of the privatisation record from 1990 to 2006. It shows that, as in other parts of the world, the first wave of privatisations in the 1990s, which focused almost exclusively on profit-making enterprises in the tourism, transport, food and construction material sectors, slowed down towards the early 2000s and rebounded in 2005 when larger utilities where earmarked for sale. The second part of the paper assesses the outcome of the privatisation process in light of three key objectives: fiscal proceeds, economic efficiency and the development of the local private sector. It concludes that privatisation in the MEDA region can successfully promote efficiency and private sector development only when embedded in a package of measures, including the setting up of a proper regulatory framework, the improvement of the business climate and the liberalisation of financial markets.
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