Assessing Barriers to Trade in Services in the MENA Region
This paper aims to assess barriers to service provision in the financial, telecom, and transport sectors of selected MENA countries, including both trade and domestic restrictions. The analysis is focused on computation of aggregate and modal trade restrictiveness indexes (TRIs) by sector, drawing on information gathered from detailed questionnaires and country reports prepared by local consultants. The conclusions highlight that significant regulatory reforms have taken place in the service sectors of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco over the last decade, but that a broad range of restrictions still remain. The most significant change in these service sectors has been the lifting or softening of the constraints imposed on foreign equity participation. Reforms, however, have had varying degrees of impact on market structure depending on the country and the sector.
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