The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Susan Fennell, Patricia Alonso-Gamo, and Khaled Sakr
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper addresses concerns that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with the exception of the GCC economies, has lagged behind in trade liberalization. This delay has adversely affected production efficiency and consumer welfare and could reduce the region’s ability to attract foreign investment. Against this background, the paper examines the major challenges facing MENA if it is to benefit from the opportunities presented by the Uruguay Round and the European Union Mediterranean Initiative. It concludes with an overview of measures that MENA countries will need to implement to benefit from these trade-enhancing initiatives.