ERF holds a highly visible annual conference that provides a platform for approximately 250 economists (and professionals in related disciplines) across the region to discuss the most pressing development challenges facing the region. The conference also provides an avenue for the presentation of a large number of papers in 5-6 parallel sessions. In addition, if offers a vehicle for networking among researchers in the region as well as with invited international speakers. Very few events in the ERF region (Arab countries, Iran and Turkey) provide such a forum. Not surprisingly, the conference has been maintained since ERF creation.