Egypt and the Uruguay Round
The Uruguay Round will generally have a limited impact on Egyptian policies affecting goods, investment, and services. It will have a more significant impact on intellectual property, although this will take up to a decade to materialize fully. Insofar as this reflects a continuing defensiveness against liberalization, it does not bode well for a country that will be facing growing competitive pressures as the world economy becomes more integrated. But Egypt's Uruguay Round commitments do, to a large extent, lock in the policy changes pursued by the government since the late 1980s. In this respect, they are quite significant. Maximum tariffs have been established for almost all tariff lines, and the gap between these"bindings"and the level of applied tariffs is in most cases relatively small. This constitutes a level of commitment that substantially exceeds that developing country average. The government is negotiating a more far-reaching agreement with the European Union to liberalize trade on a reciprocal basis. Commitments by Egypt in the Uruguay Round can be seen as facilitating implementation of a Euro-Mediterranean Agreement. Such an agreement could facilitate further nondiscriminatory liberalization of Egypt's trade regime. Of particular importance in this connection is opening service markets to greater competition, where much remains to be done.
|Date of creation:||31 May 1996|
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