Follow the latest in economic news and developments across the Arab transition countries. 

Egyptian Minister of Finance Ahmed Galal, speaking at the Egypt-GCC Investment Forum, said that his country’s partnership with the GCC is based on mutual benefit. He said that the government’s plan was to achieve high growth rates in order to increase its spending on social services. He noted that gross savings reached 15 percent of GDP, but the level needs to increase by at least 10 percent. He stressed that the Egyptian economy will need investments of $20 billion yearly in order to achieve a growth level of 4 percent. So far, the budget deficit hit EGP 240 billion. [QNA]

The International Labor Organization (ILO) plans to help Morocco to run a four-year project targeted at youth unemployment. It is estimated that about 20,000 participants will go through the project co-financed by ILO. The project called “Young People at Work” intends to help young Moroccans get into paid employment, entrepreneurship and business development, while at the same time educating them about the financial sector and services. [Morocco Gazette]  

The tourism industry’s contribution to Morocco’s GDP fell in 2012 for the third year in a row, as the wait continues for the 2013 budget to come together, amidst tentative optimism due to an influx of large investments. According to data from the High Commission for Planning, in 2012 the tourism sector contribution to GDP was 6.9 percent, falling from 7.1 percent in 2011 and 7.3 percent in 2010. According to government analysts, the drop should be taken into consideration along with the adverse global economic situation affecting European markets, from which Morocco draws the majority of its tourism, having essentially confirmed their flow of hard currency (equivalent to 57 billion dirhams), but influencing to a lesser extent the national economy. [ANSAmed]

Inflation still stands at 5.8 percent for the third consecutive month, November 2013, compared to November 2012.For the first 11 months of the year, the average inflation rate was 6.1 percent, according to the last statistics published by National Statistics Institute (INS). A drop from earlier this year, when the rate hit 6.5 percent in April, is still significantly higher than before the January 2011 uprising. Last week, the value of the dinar dropped to its lowest level in at least ten years in relation to the euro and the dollar. [TAP

Also of Interest:
Egypt needs 2 protest-free years to recover, says Sawiris | ANSAMed
Beblawy assures Gulf investors | Egypt Independent
Egypt: €158 million from EBRD to finance investments of private sector | SIS
Egypt: Ministry of Finance transfers EGP 10.32 billion to Ministry of Petroleum | Youm7
Egypt submitted petroleum needs to UAE | Youm7 
Egypt on Track for Economic Recovery – Kuwait’s Sheikh Nemr | Amwal Al-Ghad
Egypt agrees on timetable to pay $3 billion to oil firms | DNE
Chatham House dissects Egyptian economy | DNE
Jordan, EU launch negotiations for free trade agreement | Jordan Times
Libyan cities face blackouts due to protests | Reuters/LANA