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1st Annual Central Bank Conference on Development Economics in the Middle East and North Africa

December 1-2, 2021

Online

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  • You are cordially invited to the 1st Annual Central Bank Conference on Development Economics in the Middle East and North Africa. The theme of the conference is "Macroeconomic Policy: Innovation and Challenges during Uncertain Times". The conference will be held virtually on December 1st and 2nd. The conference will feature opening remarks by Roberta Gatti (World Bank Chief Economist for MENA); a keynote speech by Carmen Reinhart (Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank Group); a session on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) comprising John Kiff (formerly of the IMF and the Central Bank of Canada), Maria Soledad Martinez Peria (IMF); and a concluding panel of MENA Central Bank Governors moderated by Ferid Belhaj (World Bank Vice President for MENA). We look forward to your participation.

    Register for each event under the Agenda tab, above.

    For any questions, please feel free to reach out to acbcdb@worldbank.org.

  • Please click on the "REGISTRATION" links to join specific sessions.

    DAY 1: December 1, 8am – 12pm (EST), 2 – 6pm (CET)
    TIME/REGISTRATIONDESCRIPTION

    8:00am – 8:50am (EST)

    2:00pm – 2:50pm (CET)

    REGISTRATION

    Welcome and Opening Remarks:
    Roberta Gatti (Chief Economist, MENA World Bank)
    Marouane El Abassi (Governor, Central Bank of Tunisia)

    Keynote speech:
    Carmen Reinhart (Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, World Bank)

    9:00am – 10:20am (EST)

    3:00pm – 4:20pm (CET)

    REGISTRATION

    Parallel Session Breakout Room 1:

    Macro Modelling in the Age of Covid-19

     

    Chair:
    Saidi Abdessamad (Director of Research, Central Bank of Morocco)

     

    Title: Health Accelerator and Financial Frictions in Macroeconomic Modelling: How to Model the Pandemic Effect.

    Author (speaker):
    Zakaria Firano (University Mohammed V)
    Co-author:
    Fatine Filali Adib (University Mohammed V)
    Discussant:
    Maximilien Queyranne (International Monetary Fund)

     

    Title: Morocco’s Monetary Policy Transmission in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Author (speaker):
    Maximilien Queyranne (International Monetary Fund)
    Co-authors:
    Dániel Baksa Vassili Bazinas, Azhin Abdulkarim (International Monetary Fund)
    Discussant:
    Aya Achour (Bank Al-Maghrib)

     

    Title: The Morocco Policy Analysis Model: Theoretical Framework and Policy

    Author (speaker):
    Aya Achour (Bank Al-Maghrib)
    Co-authors:
    Aleš Bulíř, Adam Remo (International Monetary Fund), Omar Chafik (Bank Al-Maghrib)
    Discussant:
    Zakaria Firano (University Mohammed V)

     

    Parallel Session Breakout Room 2:
    Finance and Macroeconomic Policies

     

    Chair:
    Mohammed Atallah (Director of Research and Monetary Policy Department, Palestine Monetary Authority) [TBC]

     

    Title: A Model for Central Bank Digital Currencies: Implications for Bank Funding and Monetary Policy

    Author (speaker):
    Jonas Gross (University of Bayreuth)
    Co-author:
    Jonathan Schiller (University of Bayreuth)
    Discussant:
    Ugo Panizza (The Graduate Institute Geneva and CEPR)

     

    Title: State-Owned Commercial Banks

    Author (speaker):
    Ugo Panizza (The Graduate Institute Geneva and CEPR)
    Discussant:
    Soraya Ben Souissi (University of Carthage)

     

    Title: Could the Issuance of Central Bank Digital Currencies Reduce the Likelihood of Banking Panics?

    Author (speaker):
    Soraya Ben Souissi (University of Carthage)
    Co-author:
    Mahmoud Sami Nabi (University of Carthage)
    Discussant:
    Jonas Gross (University of Bayreuth)

    10:30am – 12:00pm (EST) 4:30pm – 6:00pm (CET) REGISTRATION

    Session on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

     

    Chair:
    Leila Baghdadi (Executive Board Member, Central Bank of Tunisia)

    Moderator:
    John Kiff (Former staff of the International Monetary Fund and the Central Bank of Canada)

     

    Title: Domestic and International Implications of CBDCs
    Speaker:
    Maria Soledad Martinez Peria (International Monetary Fund)

     

    Title: Country Examples and Current Situation regarding CBDCs
    Speaker:
    John Kiff (Former staff of the International Monetary Fund and the Central Bank of Canada)

     

    Title: Practitioners’ Experiences with CBDCs at MENA Central Banks
    Speakers:
    Lakfifi Layla (Director of the Organization and Digital Transformation Department, Central Bank of Morocco)
    Makram Bou Nassar (Executive Director, Head of Payment Systems Department, Central Bank of Lebanon)
    Nizar Chadded (Deputy Director General of Development and Oversight of Payment Systems and Instruments, Central Bank of Tunisia)

     

    DAY 2: December 2, 8am – 12pm (EST), 2 – 6pm (CET)
    TIME/REGISTRATIONDESCRIPTION

    8:00am – 9:20am (EST)

    2:00pm – 3:20pm (CET)

    REGISTRATION

    Parallel Session Breakout Room 3:
    Crisis Impact on the Banking and Real Sectors

     

    Chair:
    Leila Baghdadi (Executive Board Member, Central Bank of Tunisia)

     

    Title: Digitalization and Resilience: Firm-level Evidence during the COVID-19

    Author (speaker):
    Nordine Abidi (International Monetary Fund)
    Co-authors:
    El Mehdi El Herradi (International Monetary Fund and Aix-Marseille University),
    Sahra Sakha (International Monetary Fund)
    Discussant:
    Sergio Schmukler (World Bank)

     

    Title: The Distribution of Crisis Credit: Effects on Firms’ and Aggregate Indebtedness

    Author (speaker):
    Sergio Schmukler (World Bank)
    Co-authors:
    Frederico Huneeus (Central Bank of Chile),
    Joseph P. Kaboski (University of Notre Dame),
    Mauricio Larrain (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile & Financial Market Commission),
    Mario Vera (Financial Market Commission)
    Discussant:
    Mehdi Bartal (Paris School of Economics)

     

    Title: A New Source of Costly Job Loss

    Author (speaker):
    Mehdi Bartal (Paris School of Economics)
    Discussant:
    Nordine Abidi (International Monetary Fund)

     

    Parallel Session Breakout Room 4:
    Macroeconomics of Calamities

     

    Chair:
    Chucri Mouannes (Executive Director, Head of Statistics & Economic Research Department, Central Bank of Lebanon) [TBC]

     

    Title: Housing, the Credit Market and Unconventional Monetary Policies: From the Sovereign Crisis to the Great Lockdown

    Author (speaker):
    Hamed Ghiaie (Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris)
    Discussant:
    Rachel Yuting Fan (World Bank)

     

    Title: Calamities, Debt and Growth

    Author (speaker):
    Ha Nguyen (World Bank)
    Co-authors:
    Rachel Yuting Fan, Daniel Lederman, Claudio Rojas (World Bank)
    Discussant:
    Jongrim Ha (World Bank)

     

    Title: Inflation During the Pandemic: What Happened and What is Next?

    Author (speaker):
    Jongrim Ha (World Bank)
    Co-authors:
    M. Ayhan Kose, Franziska Ohnsorge (World Bank)
    Discussant:
    Ha Nguyen (World Bank)

     

     

     

    9:30am–10:50am (EST)

    3:30pm – 4:50pm (CET) 

    REGISTRATION

    Parallel Session Breakout Room 5: Managing Business Cycles

     

     

    Chair:
    Nacef Abdennadher (Directeur de l'Unité de
    Recherche chez Banque Centrale de Tunisie)

     

    Title: Credit Cycles in MENA Countries—Do They Exist and Do They Matter?

    Author (speaker):
    Leila Aghabarari (World Bank)
    Co-author:
    Ahmed Rostom (World Bank)
    Discussant:
    Hager Ben Romdhane (Central Bank of Tunisia)

     

    Title: Nowcasting Real GDP in Tunisia Using Large Datasets and Mixed Data Frequency

    Author (speaker):
    Hager Ben Romdhane (Central Bank of Tunisia)
    Co-author:
    Mehdi Bellalouna (Central Bank of Tunisia)
    Discussant:
    Arthur Mendes (World Bank)

     

    Title: One Rule Fits All? Heterogeneous Fiscal Rules for Commodity Exporters When Price Shocks Can Be Persistent: Theory and Evidence

    Author (speaker):
    Arthur Mendes (World Bank)
    Co-author:
    Steven Pennings (World Bank)
    Discussant:
    Leila Aghabarari (World Bank)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Parallel Session Breakout Room 6: Financial Risks in MENA and Policy Implications from the Banking Sector

     

    Chair:
    Rachel Yuting Fan (Economist, World Bank)

     

    Title: Financial Risks Facing the MENA Region in Light of the World Bank’s Forthcoming World Development Report

    Author (speaker):
    Leora Klapper (World Bank)
    Discussant:
    Santiago Novoa (Inter-American Development Bank)

     

    Title: Monetary Policy, Market Power and Risk Shifting: Do Bailouts Matter in Tunisia’s Banking Sector?

    Author (speaker):
    Hatem Salah (Université de la Manouba)
    Co-author:
    Ahmed Chafai (Université de la Manouba)
    Discussant:
    Davide Salvatore Mare (World Bank)

     

    Title: Macroeconomic Effects of Basel III Liquidity Regulations in Emerging and Developed Economies

    Author (speaker):

    Santiago Novoa (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Co-authors:
    Alejandro Torres-Garcia, Cesar E. Tamayo (Universidad EAFIT), Carlos A. Ballesteros-Ruiz (Emory University)
    Discussant:
    Hatem Salah (Université de la Manouba)

     

     

    11:00am–12:00pm (EST)

    5:00pm – 6:00pm (CET)

    REGISTRATION

     

    [Interpreter services provided]
    Panel Discussion with MENA Central Bank Governors:

     

    Chair:
    Ferid Belhaj (Vice President, World Bank)

     

    Title: Independence of Central Banks in a Context of High Public Debt

    Panelists:
    Tarek Hassan Amer, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt
    Abdellatif Jouahri, Governor of the Central Bank of Morocco
    Marouane El Abassi, Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia

    .

  • Central banks have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis to mitigate their effects through accommodative monetary policy responses in environments characterized by constrained fiscal policy and high public debt in the MENA region. This new environment opens numerous questions on how to design monetary policy under uncertainty. Indeed, the growing risk of economic disruptions, both in the region and further afield, underlines the need to devise effective monetary policies to enable MENA countries to prepare for, withstand and recover from disasters. Furthermore, developments in fintech, blockchain, and digital currencies are offering both opportunities and challenges to central banks. By profoundly changing the world we live in, these innovations are forcing institutions like central banks to anticipate how high-tech financial solutions could enhance efficiency and outputs across a range of industries.

    The 1st Annual Central Bank Conference on Development Economics in the Middle East and North Africa is organized by the Regional Research Network of Central Banks in the MENA region and the World Bank Office of the MENA Chief Economist. It is hosted by Central Bank of Tunisia.

    The theme of the conference is "Macroeconomic Policy: Innovation and Challenges during Uncertain Times". The conference will take place over two days, December 1-2, during 8:00am – 12pm (EST, UTC-5) / 2:00pm – 6pm (CET, UST+1) each day. It will be held online via the Zoom platform. The conference will feature opening remarks by Roberta Gatti (World Bank Chief Economist for MENA); a keynote speech by Carmen Reinhart (Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank Group); a session on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) comprising John Kiff (formerly of the IMF and the Central Bank of Canada), Maria Soledad Martinez Peria (IMF); and a concluding panel of MENA Central Bank Governors moderated by Ferid Belhaj (World Bank Vice President for MENA).

    The conference will also include three pairs of parallel sessions during which a total of 18 research papers will be presented, grouped by the following session themes: Macro Modelling in the COVID Era; Finance and Macroeconomics; Crisis Impact on the Banking Sector; Macroeconomics of Calamities; Managing Business Cycles; and Financial Risks in MENA and Policy Implications from Banking Sector. The latter parallel session will include a presentation by Leora Klapper on the Financial Risks Facing MENA Region in light of the forthcoming World Development Report of the World Bank.

  • MULTIMEDIA

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    Ferid Belhaj

    REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT FOR THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA, WORLD BANK

    Ferid Belhaj has been the World Bank’s Regional Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa since July 2018. He previously served as Chief of Staff to the President of the World Bank Group, and before that as Country Director for Mashreq countries (2012-2017, based in Beirut), Country Director for the Pacific (2009-2012, Sydney), Special Representative to the United Nations (2007-2010, New York), and Country Manager for Morocco (2002-2007, Rabat). A Tunisian national, Mr. Belhaj joined the Bank in 1996 as Senior Counsel in the Legal Department. He is a lawyer by training with degrees in international law and politics.

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    Carmen Reinhart

    SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF ECONOMIST OF THE WORLD BANK

    Carmen M. Reinhart is the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank Group. Assuming this role on June 15, 2020, Reinhart provides thought leadership for the institution at an unprecedented time of crisis. She also manages the Bank’s Development Economics Department. Reinhart’s areas of expertise are in international finance, and macroeconomics. Her work has helped to inform the understanding of financial crises in both advanced economies and emerging markets. She has published extensively on capital flows, exchange rate policy, banking and sovereign debt crises, and contagion. She comes to this position on public service leave from Harvard Kennedy School where she is the Minos A. Zombanakis Professor of the International Financial System. Previously, she was the Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for International Economics at the University of Maryland. During her career, Reinhart has worked in numerous roles to address policy challenges including most recently, the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact. She serves in the Advisory Panels of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the International Monetary Fund. Earlier, she was the Senior Policy Advisor and Deputy Director of the Research Department at the International Monetary Fund and held positions as Chief Economist and Vice President at the investment bank Bear Stearns. Ranked among the top Economists worldwide based on publications and scholarly citations, Reinhart has been listed among Bloomberg Markets Most Influential 50 in Finance, Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers, and Thomson Reuters' The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds. In 2018 she was awarded the King Juan Carlos Prize in Economics and NABE’s Adam Smith Award, among others. Her book (with Kenneth S. Rogoff) entitled This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly has been translated to over 20 languages and won the Paul A. Samuelson Award. She holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

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    Roberta Gatti

    CHIEF ECONOMIST, MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA, WORLD BANK

    Roberta Gatti is currently the Chief Economist of the Middle East and North Africa region of the World Bank. In her previous capacity of Chief Economist for Human Development, Roberta co-led the conceptualization and release of the Human Capital Index and oversaw the Service Delivery Indicators data initiative. Roberta is the author of numerous flagship reports and her research, spanning topics in health, labor markets, and growth, is published in top field journals. Roberta holds a B.A. from Università Bocconi and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. She has taught at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities.

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    Abdellatif Jouahri

    GOVERNOR OF BANK AL-MAGHRIB

    After completing graduate studies in law and finance, Mr. Abdellatif Jouahri joined Bank Al-Maghrib, where he held several high-ranking positions. In 1978, he entered the government as Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister in charge of Public Enterprises Reform, before serving as Minister of Finance from 1981 to 1986. Between 1986 and 1995, Mr. Jouahri was Chairman and CEO of Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur and also Chairman of the Moroccan Bankers’ Association (GPBM). From 1995 to 2002, he engaged in consulting activities, particularly for international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. He then served as Chairman and CEO of the Caisse Interprofessionnelle Marocaine de Retraite (Moroccan Interprofessional Pension Fund) in 2002-2003. In April 2003, Mr. Jouahri was appointed by His Majesty the King as Governor of Bank Al-Maghrib.

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    Marouane El Abassi

    GOVERNOR OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF TUNISIA

    Mr. El Abassi has a PhD in Economics from the University of Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne. He was a Senior Economist with the World Bank from January 2008, coordinated the Country Programme for Libya and was then appointed Office Manager of the World Bank in Libya. He was also Senior Adviser at the Arab Institute of Business Managers (IACE), Expert for the Tunisian Institute of Strategic Studies (ITES) and Economic Adviser at the Ministry of Commerce, Tourism and Handicrafts charged with conducting an export development project financed by the World Bank. An Associate Professor of Economics, he was appointed as full professor at the University of Carthage in 2007. Mr. El Abassi received honorary mention for excellence in teaching and research, published many articles in renowned economic magazines and participated in the publication of several works. He also taught several MBA programmes and was a guest lecturer at ICHEC Brussels, at Tsukuba University and at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of New York.

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    Tarek Amer

    GOVERNOR OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF EGYPT

    Mr. Tarek Amer was appointed the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt in 2015. He launched and led one of the most difficult reform agendas that helped to stabilize Egypt’s economy and was appointed for a second four-year term in November 2019. Mr. Amer was the leading architect of Egypt’s IMF program and the driving force behind the country’s exchange rate reform, which has played a pivotal role in putting the economy on a sustainable path and restoring the confidence of international investors. Previously, Mr. Amer was the former Chairman and CEO of The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and before that was the Deputy Governor of The Central Bank of Egypt. During his terms as Deputy Governor, he also represented The Government of Egypt on several shareholders’ committees for strategic industries such as power, petrochemicals, aviation and chemicals industries. Mr. Amer's professional career spans more than 40 years of banking experience and managing the Corporate Finance and Investment Banking activities for both Bank of America and Citi Group, covering a wide array of regions, including the Middle East and North Africa, Turkey, and the Gulf.

Details

  • Hosted by: Central Bank of Tunisia
  • Organized by: Regional Research Network of Central Banks in the MENA region and the World Bank MENA Chief Economist Office