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The impact of FTAs on MENA trade in agricultural and industrial products


  • Parra, Maria Dolores
  • Martínez Zarzoso, Inmaculada
  • Suárez Burguet, Celestino


This paper analyses the impact of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) on Middle East and North African Countries (MENA) trade for the period 1994-2010. The analysis distinguishes between industrial and agricultural trade to take into account the different liberalisation schedules. An augmented gravity model is estimated using up-to-date panel data techniques to control for all time-invariant bilateral factors that influence bilateral trade as well as for the so-called multilateral resistance factors. We also control for the endogeneity of the agreements and test for self-selection bias due to the presence of zero trade in our sample. The main findings indicate that North-South-FTAs and South-South- FTAs have a differential impact in terms of increasing trade in MENA countries, with the former being more beneficial in terms of exports for MENA countries, but both showing greater global market integration. We also find that FTAs that include agricultural products, in which MENA countries have a clear comparative advantage, have more favourable effects for these countries than those only including industrial products. JEL code: F10, F15

Suggested Citation

  • Parra, Maria Dolores & Martínez Zarzoso, Inmaculada & Suárez Burguet, Celestino, 2015. "The impact of FTAs on MENA trade in agricultural and industrial products," Working Papers 2072/250131, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:urv:wpaper:2072/250131

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cies´lik, Andrzej & Hagemejer, Jan, 2009. "Assessing the Impact of the EU-sponsored Trade Liberalization in the MENA Countries," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 24, pages 343-368.
    2. Javad Abedini & Nicolas Péridy, 2008. "The Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA): an estimation of its trade effects," Post-Print hal-01298848, HAL.
    3. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    4. Alessandro Romagnoli & Luisa Mengoni, 2009. "The challenge of economic integration in the MENA region: from GAFTA and EU-MFTA to small scale Arab Unions," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 69-83, May.
    5. Juan Ruiz & Josep M. Vilarrubia, 2007. "The wise use of dummies in gravity models: export potentials in the Euromed region," Working Papers 0720, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    6. Gianluca Orefice & Nadia Rocha, 2014. "Deep Integration and Production Networks: An Empirical Analysis," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 106-136, January.
    7. Peridy, Nicolas, 2005. "The trade effects of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership: what are the lessons for ASEAN countries?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 125-139, February.
    8. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Claire Brunel, 2009. "Capitalizing on the Morocco-US Free Trade Agreement: A Road Map for Success," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa88, October.
    9. P. Montalbano & S. Nenci, 2014. "Assessing the trade impact of the European Neighbourhood Policy on the EU-MED Free Trade Area," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(7), pages 730-740, March.
    10. Péridy, Nicolas & Abedini, Javad, 2008. "The Greater Arab Free Trade Area(GAFTA): an Estimation of Its Trade Effects," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 23, pages 848-872.
    11. Marco Montanari, 2007. "The Barcelona Process and the Political Economy of Euro-Mediterranean Trade Integration," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45, pages 1011-1040, December.
    12. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Abdessalem Abassi & Lota Dabio Tamini, 2016. "Trade performance and potential of North African countries: An application of a stochastic frontier gravity model," Cahiers de recherche CREATE 2016-4, CREATE.

    More about this item


    Negocis; Finances internacionals; Integració econòmica; 339 - Comerç. Relacions econòmiques internacionals. Economia mundial. Màrqueting;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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