MENA trade, Covid-19 and oil price volatility

One of the big winners of globalisation has been the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region. As MENA diversifies from hydrocarbons, it has evolved into a trade hub.

But Covid-19 has disrupted this journey and trade has been slowing down. Although capacity is being restored after the collapse of inventories and supply chains, it is not clear when demand will recover. However, the long-term outlook is, according to our panel, broadly positive.

The other big risk for region is, as Rebecca Harding observes, the volatility of oil prices, “A lot of the region’s trade is dominated by commodities, and much government policy has been about reducing budget dependencies on a high oil prices.”

Joined by Deutsche Bank’s Cairo-based Ahmed Shehab and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s Anna Brod, the panel reviews how Egypt is preparing for economic recovery as trade flows include equipment needed to upgrade industrial capacity to help exports such as natural gas, petrochemicals and textiles. The country has also seen budget gains from the oil price falls, and is financing renewable energy projects and energy efficiency investments across sectors.

To find out more why not tune in?


  • Dr Rebecca Harding, Trade Economist and CEO of Coriolis Technologies 
  • Ahmed Shehab, Head of Cairo Representative Office and Head of Trade Finance Financial Institutions MENA Deutsche Bank
  • Anna Brod, Principal Banker – Trade Facilitation Programme, EBRD Financial Institutions


Clarissa Dann, Editorial Director, Deutsche Bank

Published on September 25, 2020

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