Growth in Arab economies will accelerate to at least 4 percent on average this year on higher oil prices, while the impact of the euro zone debt crisis will be small if any, the Arab Monetary Fund chief said on Thursday.
"Economic growth will not be less than 4 percent this year, in some Arab countries it could be more," AMF head Jassim Al-Mannai told reporters after a board meeting.
"The economic situation in the Arab world is more stable this year than in 2008 and 2009 and this is a positive indicator for economic growth," he said.
Gross domestic product in the AMF’s 22 Arab member states grew 3.2 percent on average last year, Mannai said, adding oil prices of around $70 a barrel had a positive impact on growth in the past.
US benchmark crude traded above $77 a barrel on Thursday, following recent weakness caused by concerns about the impact of Europe’s debt woes on global economic recovery.
The AMF has seen no major negative impact on Arab countries stemming from the euro zone troubles, Mannai said.
"There is no reduction in demand for oil and the oil price has not come down. We cannot see a negative impact, maybe tourism and some exports could be affected a little," he said.