The Trade Performance of the Middle East and North AfricaWorld Bank Middle East and North Africa Working Paper Series (2011)
AbstractThis paper characterizes the trade performance of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) over the past 15 years. Cross-section results show that MENA's exports to the outside world were only one third of their potential in recent years, after controlling for the standard determinants of trade. Results from panel data show that MENA's exports have been expanding more rapidly than exports from the rest of the world, offering some evidence of convergence. Still, at historical growth rates, it would take 20 years for MENA countries to reach potential trade. When we exclude natural resources, exports are also only one third of the benchmark, but the improved export performance over time is much slower and implies it could take twice as long to reach potential. Interestingly, while MENA also under-trades within the region, the extent of under-trading is less acute than with the outside world. There is, however, no indication of more rapid regional integration over time, suggesting that recent trade agreements among MENA countries have not stimulated regional trade to a greater extent than external trade. Finally, the report examines intra-industry trade, which has characterized world trade growth over the period. East Asia and Europe show large and rising intra-industry trade, both globally and regionally, reflecting increased trade in differentiated goods and the expansion of supply chains. Despite neighboring these regions, the MENA countries have been largely left out of this transformation.
Citation InformationAlberto Behar. "The Trade Performance of the Middle East and North Africa" World Bank Middle East and North Africa Working Paper Series (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/alberto_behar/29/