The Middle East And North Africa Mena Economics Essay

Economic Integration is the riddance of duty and nontariff barriers to the flow of goods, services, and factors of production between a group of states. The intent of Economic Integration is to let the free flow of goods and service between states that can profit from the economic resources of spouse states. The Economic Integration Model used for this paper is MENA ; normally known as Middle East and North Africa. The states and parts included in MENA are labeled in the map below

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The Middle East and North Africa ( MENA ) is an economically diverse part that includes both the oil-rich economic systems in the Gulf and states that are resource-scarce in relation to population, such as Egypt, Morocco, and Yemen. The MENA part includes the undermentioned states: Algeria | Bahrain | Djibouti | Egypt | Iran | Iraq | Israel | Jordan I Kuwait | Lebanon | Libya | Malta | Morocco | Oman | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria I Tunisia | United Arab Emirates | West Bank and Gaza | Yemen

The MENA states have signed a series of many-sided, regional, and bilateral trade understandings. Multilateral understandings are within the model of the World Trade Organization ( WTO ) , of which, with the exclusion of Syria and the West Bank and Gaza, all states in the part are members or have observer position. Ten MENA states have signed European Union-Mediterranean Association Agreements ( EMAAs ) with the E.U. These understandings replace the discriminatory entree to European markets for goods from African, Caribbean, and Pacific states with a mutual decrease in duties on many goods. However, these understandings by and large exempt agricultural trade goods.

The MENA part is besides an oil rich part and the part ‘s economic lucks over much of the past one-fourth century have been to a great extent influenced by the monetary value of oil. During the recession of 2008 that effected planetary economic systems and the demand for oil, it led to increase uncertainness for the MENA part because of its high dependance on oil monetary value in the international market. As an incorporate unit MENA has been able to get by with planetary recession because of its combined trade policy. In the old ages to come, integrated parts similar to MENA might be the reply to future jobs and therefore makes it of import to look at costs and benefits of economic integrating in the visible radiation of MENA. The paper will foremost look at the current jobs and challenges faced by the MENA part and so look at the benefits of integrating to the part

Challenges faced by the MENA part

In order to understand the challenges faced by the MENA part jointly, it is of import to split the part into groups and expression at these jobs in a coherent segregated mode. Harmonizing to a study by OECD titled ‘Opportunities and challenges in the MENA part ‘ these categorizations are:

Resource-rich, labor-abundant states are manufacturers and exporters of oil and gas and have big native populations, which represent about the entirety of their occupants. This group of states includes Algeria, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Resource-rich, labor-importing states are manufacturers and exporters of oil and gas and have big portions of foreign or expatriate occupants, who represent a important per centum of the entire population, even the bulk in some instances. This group of states comprises the Gulf Cooperation Council ( GCC ) members ( Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates ) and Libya.

Resource-poor states are little manufacturers or importers of oil and gas. These states include Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and the Palestinian Authority. ( OECD, 2003 )


The challenges faced by MENA include high unemployment degrees ( in specific among young person ) ; permeant corruptness and deficiency of answerability and transparence ; bloated public sectors with state-owned endeavors that crowdout the development of private endeavor and investing ; low degrees of endeavor creative activity ; and, for a figure of states, a high dependance on fuel and nutrient imports bring forthing extended exposure to trade good monetary value volatility. Given that these challenges are both structural and interconnected, they can be addressed merely through a co-ordinated and comprehensive scheme that involves authoritiess, the private sector, civil society, and the international community which I will demo subsequently in the essay. The chart below from the World Bank shows unemployment rates for 2000 and 2009 in the MENA part, bespeaking the alteration in unemployment over nine old ages. ( World Bank, 2011 )

Arab Spring Revolution

Immigration is expected to increase in those states most affected by the Arab Spring. Immigration to GCC states, which already host important portions of Arab immigrants, is expected to lift. Numerous histories have been reported of Immigrants flying from Northern Africa to Europe. Furthermore, a study of Egyptian immature people by the International organisation for Migration found that the oncoming of protests and instability may hold acted as a primary push factor for young person who reported anterior purposes to migrate.

The study ‘s consequences showed that two-thirds of respondents with migration purposes who were working prior to the start of the protests were negatively affected by the events: 26 per centum lost their occupations, 20 per centum were asked to take unpaid leave, and 19 per centum witnessed a decrease in their working hours. ( International Organization for Migration, 2011 )


Datas from OECD indicated that high rising prices which is the merchandise of a high dependance on fuel and nutrient imports represents a major challenge for resource-poor states. For the MENA part ; consumer monetary value rising prices has remained high since the oil and fuel monetary value spikes of 2007-08. This is peculiarly the instance in Egypt, which registered an rising prices rate of 5 per centum during 1996-2005 and a significantly higher rate of 11 per centum during 2006-10. A noteworthy exclusion to high rising prices has been Morocco, which has kept consumer monetary value additions below 3 per centum. ( OECD, 2003 )

Costss and Benefits of Economic Integration in MENA

Although the MENA part has registered a comparatively high economic growing during the last few old ages, However ; the absence of a vivacious private sector which would hold been able to make more and better occupations, has meant that economic public presentation has non been reflected in improved life criterions for the bulk. As discussed earlier, some factors doing this lack are stiff labour markets, accomplishments mismatches, the herding out of private endeavor by SOEs and high corruptness. But there are besides other economic and structural factors, such as low degrees of fight in fabrication sectors, deficiency of export-market variegation, and low intraregional integrating which still exists in the part. Furthermore, although the Arab Spring provides an of import chance for economic reform, although its immediate effects will be negative for those states most affected by societal and political instability

Passage illustrations from other parts suggest that the medium-run additions from traveling to more unfastened and accountable authoritiess are ample. Income growing tends to stabilise at a higher mean rate in the decennary after passage, and income volatility at a lower rate, as compared with the old period. The consequences will depend on how fleetly and believably authoritiess can perpetrate to reform. In the interim, as investors wait for political uncertainness to be resolved in states affected by political convulsion, it is inevitable that investing will be delayed and economic challenges will emerge. Evidence from earlier passages shows that these troubles tend to be limited ; growing typically dips for merely one twelvemonth and so returns to or exceeds old degrees.

Integration via Trade in Goods

Regional trade understandings ( RTAs ) have proliferatedin the MENA part in the past two decennaries. Such understandings can do it possible to harvest benefits from internationalintegration, while orienting the commissariats ofthe understandings to the peculiar demands and adjustmentcapacities of the states involved. They canalso have good indirect effects. Opening domesticmarkets to spouse states, for illustration, can increasecompetition in sectors with antecedently highlyconcentrated industrial constructions. Such precompetitive impacts are peculiarly of import for countriesthat have merely a nascent domestic competition policy.Also, regional cooperation can be effectual in harmonizingcustoms processs and domestic regulations.Adopting common regulations on investing, forexample, has the possible to promote increased inflowsof foreign direct investing by heightening thecredibility of FDI-related policies and supplying a restrainton sudden policy reversals.

Harmonizing to the World Bank many MENA states have late seen the portion of intraregional trade in entire ware trade addition dramatically over the past two decennaries. Compared to this ; the extent of intraregional trade remains lowerthan in all other parts of the universe, except for South Asia. Though the ratio of intraregional trade to GDP exceeds 15 per centum in the Syrian Arab Republic and Jordan, in most MENA states the ratio remains in the low individual figures. In peculiar, resource-rich, labor-importing states by and large show a really low degree of intra-MENA exports in relation to GDP, despite high entire export-to-GDP ratios. ( World Bank, 2005 ) .

Integration through Servicess

For an economic system, services typically contribute a major part to the GDP. Therefore, it is of import to take barriers to entryfor both domestic and foreign houses and increasethe efficiency of services. The current regional integrating understandings inMENA by and large do non cover services trade, and in countries where the understandings do cover services, it is in the footings of purposes and silent understandings. Furthermore, there still exist differences in ordinances and at times bounds on the physical motion of persons. In these instances it is presently making a state of affairs in which it is frequently easier for MENA states ‘ service suppliers to run in states outside the part than within. The chart below from the World Bank represents the service exports for selected states in the MENA part.

Integration through Labor reforms

If we compare the part ‘s integrating through trade and labour we can see that the MENA part is more incorporate in the globaleconomy through labour mobility than through tradeand investing. Harmonizing to a study by the World Bank on the MENA part titled ‘Economic Developments and Prospects ‘ it has outlined that the part ‘s portion of planetary trade flows is below 5 per centum, andthe part receives an even lower portion of globalFDI flows. However, about 16 per centum of all remittancespaid out to migrators in the universe originate inthe MENA part, basically the GCC states, and 10 per centum of planetary remittals are standard byresidents of MENA states. ( World Bank, 2008 )

They have besides explained a recent tendency where MENA ‘s portion in remittals has come down significantly since the 1990s, at atime when remittals to India, China, Mexico, andthe Philippines have increased exponentially. Therefore looking closely at these immense labour flows in the past it becomes of import to inquire here if in-migrations are wholly conflict-driven flows. This is non the instance if we look at the chart below where the portion of refugees as a part of Migrants has decreased dramatically.

One of the primary factors prefering the addition in in-migration still appears to be demographics. Harmonizing to population projections from the United Nations in context with labour force engagement rates, show that, if there is no migration so the labour force in GCC states will maintain turning at 2.2 per centum per yearbetween 2005 and 2010, but after 2010, this growing rate will worsen. Thus, without extra migrator workers, two GCC workers would still hold to supportthree inactive individuals over the foreseeable hereafter. This shows that if there are no drastic alterations so underlying demographic factors will go on to prefer more migration.

Integration through Capital Flows

Two developments frame the context for recenttrends in capital markets in the MENA part:

countriessuch as Syria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisiahave begun to intensify structural and institutionalreforms, increasing the demand for capital

The oil roar has generated monolithic liquidness in theGulf provinces, therefore increasing the supply of capital.

Compared with conditions in old oil boomperiods, a higher sum of the excess is now availableto the oil-exporting MENA states and is beingchanneled into project-based investings in the region.GCC states have already allocated over $ 1.3 trillion in substructure and fabrication investmentsover the following 5 old ages harmonizing to the EIU mentality for 2007 ( Economist Intelligence Unit, 2007 )

On the other manus, Project-based investings have late been increasingespecially in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, andTunisia. These intra-MENA investings are largely basedon telecommunications, substructure, existent estate, touristry, and banking. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency has list of multibillion-dollar investing undertakings in MENA which is acquiring longer. Harmonizing to them some recent investing undertakings include: A $ 9 billion touristry undertaking by Dubai Holding and Emaar Holding in Morocco, Kuwait ‘s Telecom Group ( Wataniya ) spread outing into Tunisia, DubaiHolding geting 33.5 per centum of Tunis Telecom ( $ 2.25 billion ) , and the Bukhater Group ‘s $ 5 billion City Complex undertaking in Tunisia. To day of the month, there are 15MENA national investing publicity bureaus, most of which were established in the past decade.New investings are facilitated by private groupsand finance houses, and authoritiess are closelymonitoring reform indexes published by internationalagencies to analyse the effects of greater investings intra-region. ( Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, 2011 )

Integration through Infrastructure Investments

In footings of Infrastructure investing late, there have been cross-border substructure undertakings that are going more outstanding in the part. Some of the examplesinclude cross-border electricity grids, gas grapevines, conveyance links, and telecommunication webs. However, there are still many regulative and fiscal challenges.In the yesteryear, interconnectedness of power grids in theMENA part was chiefly driven by governments’concerns about continuing power supply securityin their several markets. On the other handother benefits, such as capital investings salvaging, are besides considered, though these are non yet the chief drivers fornetwork interconnectedness. The sum of exported and imported power still remains low in many instances. For case studies from the World Bank show that merely 12 per centum of entire capacity of theAlgeria-Morocco links is used, 17 per centum in the instance of the Algeria-Tunisia interconnectedness. ( World Bank, 2011 )

With the exclusion of Yemen and Djibouti, transportsystems are good developed in MENA states. Most states have been able to develop extensiveroad webs, with high capacity in some countries, and modern installations for air, sea, and railtransport. The cardinal issue in the part is the quality of the conveyance assets as a consequence of the deficiency of appropriatemaintenance or of hapless service operations due to institutional lacks. Cost-effectivetransport services, efficient facilitation, and transport substructure supplemented with good intermodalconnectivity are required to suit the growing in planetary and intraregional trade. However, regional integrating enterprises still remain at an early phase of development in the conveyance sector.As a consequence of the closing of several boundary lines in the part, land-based conveyance plays a minor function inintraregional trade in MENA.


In visible radiation of the recent developments and the challenges faced by the MENA part we can accurately see that there is still room for more significant development in the part as a consequence of greater intra-regional economic part. Looking at consequences from the development of intra-regional trade and services we can see that the benefits outweigh the costs and it is of import the reforms are taken at a governmental degree to let for greater de-regulation of markets and policies set uping trade flows between states. However, the recent oil roar and planetary trade good roar does leave enormous room for development and growing in the part.

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