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The economic situation of the Arab countries: 10 years after the events of the "Arab Spring": whether it will still be…

On March, 25, 2021 the School of International Regional Studies of the Faculty ofWorld Economy and International Affairs, HSE University, together with the RussianMiddle East Association within the framework of the permanent online seminar«Contemporary area studies», organized the meeting dedicated to the 10thanniversary of Arab Spring with Svetlana Babenkova, Senior Researcher at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The topic was «The economic situation of the Arab countries: 10 years after the events of the "Arab Spring": whether it will still be…».

Sadygzade Murad, President of the Russian Middle East Association, and Assistant Head of the School of International Regional Studies at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University moderated the seminar. 

At the beginning of the meeting, all the participants and the speaker of the event were greeted by Dr. Vera Vishnyakova, Head of the School of International Regional Studies of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University. 

In the speech, Svetlana Babenkova noted that most of the socio-economic processes that took place during the "Arab Spring" were not actively covered and were not considered by the media. Nowadays, the situation is not better. It can be explained by pandemic Covid-19 influence to the all States economy. 

As the speaker pointed out, the budgets of most of the States participating in the "Arab Spring" to one degree or another were in deficit. Speaking about these facts, Svetlana Babenkova drew attention to the fact that it is quite difficult to distinguish whether the presence of the deficit budget of the countries is caused by the events of the "Arab Spring" or it is just an economic trend. 

Moreover, one of the issue was the increased level of unemployment, in comparison with normal indicators, especially among young people. At the same time, it should be taken into account that a significant part of young people received higher education, but the lack of jobs led to the fact that young people had nowhere to get a job; Svetlana Babenkova also stressed the growing percentage of the underground economy in the Arab countries. 

Nevertheless, according to the speaker, at least 1 positive trend can be identified. This trend is related to the digitalization. The main advantage is the lack of binding to resources (for example, oil or gas). Svetlana Babenkova noted that in such countries as Egypt and Lebanon, there is a good growth of various startups, which can give an impetus to entering the world market. 

Svetlana Babenkova answered all the participant’s questions. 

The link to the video:https://youtu.be/VSIuFM7YdFo