Modernizar las economías de Oriente Medio

AMMAN – En lugar de hablar de Oriente Medio o del mundo árabe, cada vez más prefiero utilizar el término WANA, que significa Asia Occidental-Norte de Africa (según su sigla en inglés). Pero, más allá de cómo decidamos llamarlo, el peligro es que la crisis económica global está ofreciendo una coartada casi perfecta para que los gobiernos y otros en la región sigan adelante con "las cosas como siempre", cuando lo que se necesita es un llamado de atención a viva voz.

La crisis económica global apenas ayudó a ocultar los desequilibrios estructurales crónicos dentro de la región. La excesiva dependencia de la ayuda y de los ingresos petroleros caracteriza a casi todas las economías de WANA. De hecho, no es exagerado decir que representa una suerte de respirador artificial. El problema de cómo destetar a estos países de esta adicción parece insuperable.

Porque el "mal holandés" y un espíritu rentista prevalecen en WANA, y han afectado a los países productores y no productores de petróleo. Esto incluye desde remesas de los trabajadores migrantes y flujos de inversión financiera provenientes de los países petroleros (principalmente en bienes raíces) hasta burbujas bursátiles y ayuda extranjera. Un efecto colateral de todo esto ha sido la ampliación de las brechas de ingresos, tanto dentro como entre los países de WANA.

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