Oil-importing countries in the Middle East and Central Asia region are to beat their oil-exporting counterparts in the growth stakes in coming years, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest regional outlook.
In its report on the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan (MENAP) region, published Wednesday, the IMF said oil exporters in the region should see a 2.8 percent growth in 2018 and 3.3 percent in 2019.
Oil importers, however, were predicted to see a 4.7 percent growth in 2018 and 4.6 percent in 2019.
"The good news of this recovery this year is that the outlook is positive for both oil-importing countries and oil-exporting countries," Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the IMF, told CNBC's Hadley Gamble on Monday.
"Oil-exporting countries bottomed out in 2017 when growth was 1.7 percent, but this year it's expected to be 2.8 percent. For oil-importing countries we expect growth this year to be 4.7 percent, coming up from 4.2 percent last year. And over the next three years we expect it to be 5 percent."
"This is good, but it's not enough for them to sustainably address the issues they're dealing with, inclusion, job creation and sustainable growth," he added.
Oil-importing countries include Egypt, Pakistan, Morocco and Tunisia, while oil exporters include the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar) as well as Iran, Algeria and Libya.