North Africa: The Role of Infrastructure in the Success of the Arab Spring
11 September 2012
U.S. Department of State - Remarks by Deborah A. McCarthy, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, Infrastructure and Business Opportunities in North Africa Event, Washington, DC
Economic Rebalance: The Role of Infrastructure in the Success of the Arab Spring
Before I begin, I would like to thank Dr. John Duke Anthony and the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations not only for organizing this event, but also for moderating the panel.
It is a pleasure to be with you today to look at the Arab Spring and North Africa through the lens of infrastructure. The Arab Spring was born in part from economic imbalance. Creating the critical infrastructure that facilitates investment, job creation, and entrepreneurial success is an essential part of providing new opportunities to correct this challenge, which countries across North Africa are facing.
Investment in infrastructure is an essential part of the economic shift now occurring across North Africa. Businesses and young entrepreneurs cannot be successful without roads to deliver goods to market, ports to access international clients and new equipment, information and communications technology to tap into high-tech industries, airports to facilitate travel within and outside of the region, and many of the other kinds of infrastructure our people and businesses use every day.
To support infrastructure investment and the transitions now occurring in North African countries, we are engaging resources from across the U.S. government to connect U.S. businesses to opportunities in the region and unlock private and public sources of financing to support infrastructure development.