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Trade, Investment, and Development in the Middle East and North Africa: Engaging with the World

While world trade has grown at 8 percent per year in the past decade, trade in the Middle East and North Africa region grew at only 3 percent.  Moreover, the region's economic relationships with the rest of the world remain dependent on oil and natural resources, tourism, and labor migration, while other regions have become links in global production chains in technology, manufacturing, and other dynamic sectors.  A major consequence of this failure to integrate with the rest of the world has been slow economic growth and high unemployment.

Trade report coverTrade, Investment, and Development in the Middle East and North Africa analyzes why the region has yet to tap fully into the rich stream of global commerce and investment - and what measures would help it do so.  The region's most important development challenge in the coming decade is to create enough jobs for its large and rapidly growing workforces.  Unemployment, especially among the young and educated, is already high, indicating enormous waste of resources and posing a major threat to social and political stability. 

The book argues that expanding trade and private investment offers the best hope for generating the requisite growth and jobs.  This effort requires moving decisively away from relying on the public sector and protected national economies as the main engine of growth to relying more on open economies and a competitive private sector.

Combining hard facts with even harder strategic advice, the book proposes radical reforms in the trade and investment sectors in the Middle East and North Africa region.  The book's findings are carefully researched and persuasively argued, and will be of use to policymakers, donors, trade specialists, and partners, and anyone with an interest in the history and prospects of the Middle East and North Africa. 

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