The Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region needs an investment totalling $75-100bn a year for the next five years to plug an infrastructure deficit, according to speakers at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Morocco.

Shamshad Akhtar, regional vice-president, Middle East and North Africa, of the Washington-based World Bank, said: “The region’s infrastructure needs are between $75-100bn a year for the next five years, after experiencing an investment low of $6bn in mid-2009.”

Investment of that scale would be needed if the region is to provide employment, boost competitiveness, and attract foreign investment.

“Good infrastructure is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for investors to come in,” says Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive officer at Renault-Nissan Alliance, and co-chair of the WEF meeting in Morocco.