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Trade Strategies for the Southern Mediterranean

  • Peter A. Petri

The lagging economic performance of the Southern Mediterranean (SOM) region over the past decade is often attributed to the region’s relative lack of openness to international trade. The closer analysis of the region’s trade patterns undertaken in this study suggest a more complex picture. These findings show that except for Syria and to a lesser extent Morocco, the region’s overall trade flows are above international norms, that is, levels predicted given the country economic characteristics. Moreover, they also suggest that intra-regional trade, with some qualifications, is relatively high given the region’s economic characteristics. Nevertheless, trade relationships in the Southern Mediterranean appear to lack the vitality of those in East Asia and even Eastern Europe. The Southern Mediterranean’s trade is expanding relatively slowly, exports are concentrated in relatively slow-growing sectors, and the region does not figure prominently in the multinational production strategies ... Les résultats médiocres de la région Sud-méditerranéenne au cours de la dernière décennie sont souvent attribués à sa relative absence d’ouverture aux échanges internationaux. Néanmoins, l’analyse plus fine de la structure commerciale de la région menée dans ce document aboutit à des résultats plus nuancés. Ainsi, à l’exception de la Syrie et, dans une moindre mesure, du Maroc, les flux commerciaux totaux de la région sont au-dessus des normes internationales, à savoir des niveaux calculés en fonction des caractéristiques économiques des pays. En outre, les échanges intrarégionaux sont relativement importants compte tenu des caractéristiques économiques de la région. Il n’en demeure pas moins que le Bassin sudméditerranéen n’a pas la vitalité de l’Asie de l’Est, ni même de l’Europe de l’Est, en matière d’échanges commerciaux. Ces derniers se développent avec lenteur ; les exportations sont concentrées dans des secteurs dont la croissance est atone ; et la région ne figure pas en ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Development Centre Working Papers with number 127.

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Date of creation: Dec 1997
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Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:127-en
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