Differences in economic performance across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) between the region’s oil exporting and importing countries are expected to narrow in 2013 because of “the scaling back of hydrocarbon production among oil exporters and a mild economic recovery among oil importers,” the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO).

The report, published this month, said that while many countries face the immediate challenge of reestablishing or maintaining macroeconomic stability amid political uncertainty and social unrest, the MENA region should not lose sight of the medium-term challenge of diversifying their economies, creating more jobs and bringing about more growth. (CONTINUED - 573 WORDS)