Asia and Middle East Economic Growth Best Practices (AMEG)

Project Dates: October 2012 - September 2017
Piloting and sharing approaches to job creation, public financial management, trade and customs, access to finance, enterprise and workforce development, and economic inclusion is promoting economic growth in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Although countries’ specific contexts influence their national policies, there are best practices for economic development from which all countries can learn. Drawing on best practices and lessons learned from USAID programming, the Asia and Middle East Economic Growth Best Practices (AMEG) project developed effective interventions that strengthened economic institutions and governance. In collaboration with USAID missions and operating units, AMEG piloted innovative approaches to promote broad-based economic growth. The project also designed concepts and scopes of work for short-term assessments and pilot activities. These activities focused on various key issues related to economic growth and job creation, including public financial management, trade and customs, access to finance, enterprise and workforce development, and economic inclusion. In addition to designing on-demand economic growth diagnostics and technical deliverables, AMEG connected mission staff to external resources on best practices and participates in knowledge sharing.

Illustrative Pilot Activities

  • MENA Revenue Capital Financing Activity: AMEG supported the use of revenue-capital financing for early stage business development by synthesizing existing research, mapping constraints and opportunities for the financing mechanism, developing case studies, and defining how to operationalize revenue-capital financing for early stage enterprises.
  • Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Customs – Middle East Regional Activity: In partnership with the USTR, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AMEG hosted a trade-focused workshop in Bahrain for 21 participants from six countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Representatives discussed the costs of inefficient trade facilitation, opportunities for single-window systems, and the benefits of trusted trader programs and mutual recognition agreements.
  • Lebanon Diaspora Trusted Engagement Platform: AMEG partnered with a Lebanese technology company to pilot a Web-based platform to engage the Arab diaspora in development in their home countries, linking individuals with a database of opportunities to support local economic development.
  • Activity to Accelerate Gender Lens Investing in Asia: The Gendered Environmental, Social, and Governance activity, implemented in partnership with Mennonite Economic Development Associates, supported women’s economic empowerment by incorporating gender more concretely into environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment analysis as well as into business policies and practices.