Establishment of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI)
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) was established in 1988 to provide the training component of the technical assistance referred to in the framework of the following objectives of the Arab Monetary Fund:
- Assisting the Arab countries financially and technically in correcting economic disequilibria.
- Contributing to the elaboration of policies and modes of cooperation and coordination in the financial and monetary areas at the national, regional and international levels and to laying the foundation for achieving Arab monetary integration.
- Promoting and developing trade and capital movements among the Arab countries.
The Fund offered its irregular training courses on experimental basis between 1981 and 1988. In doing so, it aimed at gauging the training requirements in various training subjects..
The EPI’s establishment was a reflection of member countries interest in training and their calls for the organization of regular courses, workshops and specialized seminars.
Since 1988 up to 30/1/2016 the Fund had organized 304 courses, which covered different subjects and were attended by 9581 Arab officials.
The objectives of EPI could be summed up in the following:
- To enhance the capacity for economic policy formulation and implementation in the Fund’s member states.
- To contribute to the development of Arab economic and financial thought.
- To promote economic and financial integration among member states.
Means for Achieving the Objectives
For the realization of its objectives, EPI conducts the following activities:
- The organization, preparation and delivery of specialized training courses in a number of economic, financial and statistical areas which it directs to middle level officials of monetary, financial and economic agencies of member countries. They are aimed at enhancing the technical capacity of those agencies and assisting them in the formulation and follow up of implementation of economic policies, the analysis of their implication and deriving their outcomes.
- The organization of scientific, specialized seminars and workshops on important issues related to the formulation, implementation and follow up on economic policies in member countries; and these are aimed at higher staff and senior officials in the Fund’s member countries.
- The preparation of research and studies aimed at deepening knowledge of issues of relevance to economic policies in member countries.
- The publication of proceedings of seminars, workshops and studies in the form of papers and books which are distributed to parties concerned with Arab economic and financial affairs.
- The preparation in collaboration with Fund experts, of economic studies and Fund consultation missions to member countries and the invitation and hosting of visiting scholars, researchers and lecturers for participation in research and training projects.
- The supervision of the Fund’s library and its equipment with references, bibliographies and Arabic and English periodicals dealing with the various economic, financial and monetary subjects. The aim here is to develop the library as a unique regional specialized medium of knowledge offering to students, trainees and Fund staff a wealthy learning source to enable them to continuously keep up with recent additions and innovations in those areas.
In planning and implementing its activities, the EPI is particularly mindful of the need to avoid as much as feasible duplication with projects carried out by other regional and international institutes. Wherever possible, it seeks to reach cooperative arrangements with the latter with a view to exchange expertise and knowledge and learn from their experience. It is worth recalling that in its early period, the EPI benefited from the expertise of an external advisory council appointed for a three- year period by the Fund’s Director General and Chairman of the Board to contribute to the design of EPI’s policies and formulation of its programs. The most significant illustration of enhanced cooperation with international institutions in the area of training and the benefit from their accumulated competences, is perhaps provided by the conclusion in 1999 of a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Monetary Fund on the operation of a joint regional training program between the two institutions.
EPI’s Activities and Cooperation with Regional and
International Organizations and Bodies
The activities of EPI comprise: training courses attended by middle and upper level staff of agencies involved in economic issues in member countries, workshops and seminars intended for senior officials of those agencies. These activities are carried out in cooperation with regional and international institutions with a view to benefit from their expertise and exchange of knowledge on topics and areas of mutual interest. EPI conducts most of its activities at its headquarters in Abu Dhabi city where its lecturing halls and workshop rooms are equipped with the necessary modern appliances and teaching tools together with arrangements for trainees’ access to the Fund’s library facilities.
The EPI is keen on having the lecturing in its courses and workshops, dealing with advanced and complex topics, carried out by highly qualified specialists. Accordingly, in addition to assigning its own teaching faculty to this task, it also relies on experts and technicians from select international and regional organizations and bodies in the design and conduct of these activities. Most prominent among the institutions with which EPI cooperates to that end are the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Bundesbank, World bank, BIS, World Trade Organization (WTO), Islamic Bank, Federal Reserve System, Bank of England and JICA .