Despite a recent increase in the oil price, the outlook for the region's oil exporters remains weak in the coming years, the IMF said in a report published Wednesday.
It said countries should accelerate reforms to diversify their economies, boost the role of private companies and create jobs for their fast growing populations.
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Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia unveiled an ambitious diversification plan. Under the plan, Saudi Arabia wants to boost non-oil revenues sixfold to $266 billion, sell part of national oil company Aramco on the stock market, and create a $1.9 trillion public fund to invest at home and abroad.
"I think it's great that they have a vision. It's important to tell the people the end point of where they want to go," said Ahmed. "The challenge will be to implement, prioritize, sequence these programs so that in three years, people can begin to see the results."