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After the SpringEconomic Transitions in the Arab World$
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Magdi Amin, Ragui Assaad, Nazar al-Baharna, Kemal Dervis, Raj M. Desai, Navtej S. Dhillon, Ahmed Galal, Hafez Ghanem, Carol Graham, and Daniel Kaufmann

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199924929

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199924929.001.0001

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New Regional and Global Strategies

New Regional and Global Strategies

(p.140) Chapter 6 New Regional and Global Strategies
After the Spring

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

Tarik M. Yousef

Oxford University Press

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

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