New Regional and Global Strategies

Magdi Amin, Ragui Assaad, Nazar al-Baharna, Kemal Derviş, Raj M. Desai, Navtej S. Dhillon, Ahmed Galal, Hafez Ghanem, Carol Graham, Daniel Kaufmann, Homi Kharas, John Page, Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Katherine Sierra and Tarik M. Yousef

in After the Spring

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199924929
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949427 | DOI:
New Regional and Global Strategies

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Arab economies remain only minimally engaged with each other and poorly integrated with the global economy. Outside of the oil sector there is little international trade, and inter-Arab trade is among the lowest among all regions. There are already a large number of bilateral and regional free trade agreements with the most important global markets. Priorities are implementing existing agreements, harmonizing regional procedures, tackling nontariff barriers, and improving trade-related infrastructure. Another area where regional cooperation can potentially provide economic benefits is through the implementation of large regional infrastructure projects. Moreover, in previous transitions in other parts of the world, the international community has played a valuable role in providing financial resources to support multiyear reform programs. But in the post-Arab Spring world this may be complicated, since available foreign aid is largely in the form of loans rather than grants. And loans are less valuable for countries struggling to maintain fiscal discipline. International institutions are also widely perceived as supporters of the old regimes. In a context of transitional or weak governments, it is important for international institutions to rebuild trust with local populations.

Keywords: trade; global integration; regionalism; international institutions; foreign aid; infrastructure

Chapter.  9593 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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