Catching Up with the Competition
Trade Opportunities and Challenges for Arab Countries
Publication Year: 2000
Published by: University of Michigan Press
The Middle East and North Africa region has been lagging behind much of the developing world in integrating into the world economy, as measured by the ratio of trade to GDP, growth of nontraditional exports, the share of intraindustry trade, and inward foreign direct investment flows. The papers...
Tables, Figures, and Boxes
Abbreviations and Acronyms
Many developing countries have taken up the challenge of using international trade as an engine of economic growth and development by launching an unparalleled wave of trade reforms. The prevalence of traditional nontariff barriers (NTBs) such as import prohibitions and quotas has been greatly...
Part One: Where Does the Region Stand?
1. Beyond the Year 2000: Implications of the Middle East's Recent Trade Performance
Major changes that have occurred recently in external markets have important implications for Middle Eastern countries' export prospects. l The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) liberalized barriers to the intratrade of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, while further integration efforts continued in Europe. Regional integration arrangements (RlAs) strengthened ...
2. Agricultural Trade and Rural Development in the Middle East and North Africa
Situated at important crossroads between Africa, Asia, and Europe, the countries of the MENA region form one of the largest groups of developing countries in the world economy.l In addition, with the initiation in recent years of a peace process between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the region has...
3. Intra-Industry Trade of Arab Countries: An Indicator of Potential Competitiveness
The recent signing and ongoing discussions of bilateral agreements to liberalize trade between the EU and several Arab countries raise the question as to how the latter will fare in a more competitive environment.l Most Arab countries have traditionally been dependent on their natural resources. As a consequence, they...
Part Two: Quantifying the Gains from Liberalization
4. Assessing the Implications for Lebanon of Free Trade with the European Union
A key component of the proposed EMA between Lebanon and the EU is liberalization of their bilateral trade. This liberalization parallels the proposals for liberalization between the EU and other Mediterranean countries (Hoekman and Djankov 1996b). Completion of all of these agreements would lead to a "hub...
5. A Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and a Representative Arab Mediterranean Country: A Quantitative Assessment
During the 1980s, the foreign trade policies of many Arab Mediterranean countries began to move from inward-looking import substitution toward outward-looking export promotion. As of the mid-1990s, average collected tariff rates in countries such as Tunisia had fallen to about 10 percent in...
6. Rents, Red Tape, and Regionalism: Economic Effects of Deeper Integration
Most of the literature on the economics of preferential trade agreements (PT As) focuses on the impact of discriminatory liberalization on members of such agreements. Recently, analysts have begun to emphasize the role of PT As as instruments that can be used by governments in the pursuit of "deep...
Part Three: Policy Challenges
7. Enhancing Egypt's Exports
The Government of Egypt (GOE) has set a target for GDP growth at an annual rate of 7 to 8 percent by the year 2000. An important part of the strategy for achieving this goal is policy reform aimed at enhancing export performance and attracting increased investment. Egypt currently has a unique opportunity...
8. Regulatory Regimes and Trade Costs
The interface between regulatory policy and trade has received increased attention in recent years. As countries reduce traditional trade barriers such as tariffs and QRs, business and consumers become more aware of the impact of domestic regulatory regimes on trade. These often take the form of mandatory...
9. Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights in Lebanon
An issue of great concern to decision makers in many developing countries is the impact of strengthening protection of intellectual property rights (lPRs). In this chapter, simple partial equilibrium models are used to analyze and discuss the likely economic impacts of introducing stronger IPR protection in...
Part Four: Institutional Options
10. The Greater Arab Free Trade Area: Limits and Possibilities
The Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFT A), launched by the member states of the Arab League on January 1, 1998, is a recent example of renewed attempts at regional integration in the MENA region.1 The objective of the GAFT A is the elimination of import duties and other barriers to trade on goods...
11. Benefiting from WTO Accession and Membership
Almost all countries in the MENA region have been refonning their foreign trade and domestic investment regimes to make the policy environment more conducive to fuller integration into the world economy. Despite these efforts, the extent of integration remains relatively low. One dimension of this lag is reflected in the limited extent...
Page Count: 360
Illustrations: 17 line drawings, 76 tables, 6 boxes
Publication Year: 2000
Series Title: Studies in International Economics
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