Practical analysis for investment professionals
07 June 2012

MENA and Arab Spring: Seven Ideas for Economic Progress

Nearly one year after the start of the Arab Spring, Michael O’Sullivan, head of portfolio strategy and thematic research at Credit Suisse, spoke on the topic at the CFA Institute Middle East Investment Conference in Qatar on 26 March 2012. As part of his presentation, O’Sullivan shared seven ideas to spur economic progress in the Middle East and North Africa region:

  1. Make use of finance through Islamic finance and Mediterranean investment banks.
  2. Unlock human capital by having more women join the work force.
  3. Get more out of social media and mobile technology.
  4. Invest in infrastructure, including rail and shipping links.
  5. Boost trade.
  6. Develop a panregional body to help protect the region from financial crises.
  7. Set up new institutions for arbitration and harmonization of different laws.

In May 2012, we caught up with O’Sullivan again in London to learn more about these seven ideas. Watch this video interview with O’Sullivan in which he explains his ideas in further detail.

About the Author(s)
Usman Hayat, CFA

Usman Hayat, CFA, writes about sustainable, responsible, and impact investing and Islamic finance. He is the lead author of "Environmental, Social, and Governance Issues in Investing: A Guide for Investment Professionals;" the literature review, "Islamic Finance: Ethics, Concepts, Practice;" and the research report "Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing and Islamic Finance: Similarities and Differences." He is interested in online learning and has directed three e-courses for CFA Institute: "ESG-100," "Islamic Finance Quiz," and "Residual Income Equity Valuation." The other topics he writes about are macroeconomics and behavioral finance. He has experience working in securities regulation and as an independent consultant. His qualifications include the CFA charter, the FRM designation, an MBA, and an MA in development economics. He has served as a content director at CFA Institute. He is a former executive director at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and former CEO of the Audit Oversight Board (Pakistan). His personal interests include reading and hiking.

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