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.
The paper analyzes the scope and implications of greater economic integration in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). After reviewing whether MENA satisfies the defining characteristics of a region, it documents the low level of regional economic interaction. It argues that gains from greater regional interactions will depend primarily on implementing domestic reform and external policies that, in any case, are needed for the region to benefit from the broader process of globalization of the world economy. It also discusses measures aimed directly at facilitating regional interaction.