Past attempts at implementing the Maghreb regional economic integration project left the region largely with just that—a project. Researchers and policymakers have debated the merits, obstacles and reasons behind the disappointing record of regional economic integration, but mostly questions remain. Those questions are the subject of this report. Can the future be any different from the past? How can Maghreb policymakers shape their reform agenda in the medium term to reap the potential of regional integration? What role can service sector reforms play? What does the evidence say in terms of the potential gains from regional economic integration in the Maghreb?
The search for answers in the Maghreb become more pressing as global competition has stiffened and as economic growth has lagged behind the growth of the labor force. In recent years, countries of the region have made important strides in the direction of future prosperity. Stable macroeconomic conditions, some progress on economic reform, and ongoing trade integration with the European Union (EU) have increased foreign investment, leading to a significant rise in per capita incomes. Yet, the three countries still face a daunting challenge. They need to build momentum in policy reforms for sustained reduction in unemployment through accelerated growth.
Is There A New Vision For Maghreb Economic Integration?