growth” because their strength seems to be pulling the whole economy forward. Moreover, they appear to generate beneficial spillover effects for the rest of the economy. The policy implication of this view is obvious. If the hypothesis is valid, the government should jump start the engines of growth, and if certain sectors continue to contribute to economic progress, while others do not, then government should assist the economy’s forwardmotion by promoting the “good” sectors. Therefore, it should encourage investments and exports, using such policy instruments as
big, act small . Although it is necessary to think on a large scale, action should take the form of many small steps in the same direction. It is crucial to develop a general conceptual framework, similar to that outlined earlier, which will serve as a compass for steering the ship. What policymakers believe, what they want, and where they are going, all need to be clearly stated. When they sit down to design an economic policy, however, they must keep in mind that real progress is generally marginal. Forwardmotion occurs in a series of small steps. Massive change
efforts in Europe and now in Asia suggest that enhanced regional integration can help cement peace, forwardmotion requires the development of constituencies within each country supporting the peace.
The region remains diverse in terms of political systems and governance. Democratization has not proceeded very far in several countries. There has been little political commitment to regional goals. Very few of the numerous regional political initiatives have been translated into sustained and effective institutional foundations. Time and again, national considerations
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.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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