Abstract

This section reviews Egypt’s efforts to establish a more open and outward-oriented trade regime as part of its market reform and growth strategy. Trade reform has proceeded sporadically since the mid-1980s but has gathered strength since early 1996. Building on the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade liberalization, Egypt has recently made important progress in reducing tariffs and eliminating import bans and is now focused on dismantling non-tariff barriers that are seen by market participants and analysts alike as perhaps the main impediment to a sustained expansion in non-oil exports. The forthcoming free-trade agreement with the EU should reinforce these reforms. Nonetheless, Egypt’s trade regime remains more closed compared with other fast-growing emerging economies. This suggests that there remains an untapped potential for trade liberalization to serve as a “launching pad” to a sustained higher growth path.

Beyond Stabilization. Toward a Dynamic Market Economy
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