More and more interest is emerging around the ‘blue economy’. which is made up of a number of ocean industries such as fisheries, tourism, maritime transport, aquaculture, renewable energy and other economic activities associated with the ocean.
The World Bank has estimated that fisheries contribute $270 billion annually to global gross domestic product. More than 80 percent of trade takes place by sea and the volume of trade by sea is expected to double by 2030.
As more governments are taking steps to promote ocean-based economies, how can the Middle East and North Africa ride the wave?
Pursuing the blue economy and the sustainable use of the oceans can help enable economic diversification and move the region towards a post-oil era.
With diversification plans underway in the region, developing sustainable coastal and marine tourism has vast potential. It is projected to be the largest value-adding segment of the ocean economy by 2030, with global growth rates of more than 3.5 percent forecast by the World Bank. This indicates that investing in non-oil sectors such as the tourism industry is an opportunity to help better diversify the economy.
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