The Middle East Institute is proud to host Dr. Toufic Gaspard, the economic adviser to Lebanon's minister of finance, for a discussion about how non oil-exporting Arab economies are likely to fare in the face of heightened political uncertainties. What are some of the fundamental socio-economic features they all share and what steps must they take if their economies are to enjoy sustained growth in the medium to long term? Gaspard will focus on Arab economies in Egypt and the Levant to examine how to solve the dominant regional problems of unemployment and poor productivity with the goal of establishing social and political stability. Drawing from his deep knowledge of Lebanon's economy, Gaspard will examine the economic and political pitfalls that Arab economies should avoid, as well as the constructive steps they must take to achieve sustained growth.
Bio: Dr. Toufic Gaspard is currently the economic adviser to Lebanon's minister of finance. Previously he worked at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC as adviser to the executive director, and in academia, lecturing in economics at the American University of Beirut, and in the political economy of the Middle East at Balamand University. He has also worked as a commercial banker with Chemical Bank (now Chase) in New York, Brussels and Beirut, and as director of research at the Central Bank, Banque du Liban. In 2004, he published the book, A Political Economy of Lebanon, 1948-2002: The Limits of Laissez-faire. Dr. Gaspard is currently working on a book on labor and economic development in the Middle East.