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Ms. Rina Bhattacharya, Tarik Yousef, and Mr. Pierre Dhonte

Front Matter Page Middle Eastern Department Contents I. Introduction II. The New Demography of MED III. MED’s Demographic Gift IV. Employment Opportunities V. Housing Construction as an Engine of Growth VI. Policy Implications Tables 1. Selected Regions: Key Population Data, 1970, 2000, 2015 2. Selected Regions: Age Structure of the Population, 1970, 2000, 2015 3. Selected MED Countries: Employment, 1973–2015 4. Selected MED Countries: The Augmented Demographic Gift 5. Selected MED Countries: Total Factor Productivity Growth

Ms. Rina Bhattacharya, Tarik Yousef, and Mr. Pierre Dhonte

,676 6,055 7,103 1.70 1.07 of which: 0–14 1,369 1,814 1,804 0.94 -0.04 15–64 2,085 3,827 4,739 2.05 1.43 European Union (15 countries) 340 376 371 0.34 -0.08 of which: 0–14 84 63 54 -0.95 -0.97 15–64 215 252 245 0.53 -0.19 MED countries 223 524 721 2.88 2.15 of which: 0–14 101 205 242 2.39 1.11 15–64 115 300 449 3.25 2.72 of which: Arab Countries 122

Ms. Rina Bhattacharya, Tarik Yousef, and Mr. Pierre Dhonte
The working age population is expected to grow faster in the Middle East than in any other region in the world between now and 2015—rising annually by 2.7 percent, or 10 million people. This demographic explosion presents the region with a major challenge in terms of providing jobs, incomes, and housing for the growing population, but the expanding labor force can also be seen as an opportunity to generate higher per capita income growth on a sustainable basis. The paper concludes by emphasizing the importance of market-friendly institutions in turning the challenge into opportunity.
Mr. Robert A. Mundell

. But Italy’s position is no longer as inferior to that of France and Germany as the official figures show. The same argument holds with respect to debt-to-GDP ratios. Taking into account the capitalized value of unfunded pension commitments, Britain is in a far better position than France or Germany. Italy is also in a far better relative position, taking into account the capitalized value of its unfunded pension liabilities. When or if these factors are taken into account at the Council Summit in early 1998, the position of the “Club Medcountries will be much

Mr. Henri C. Ghesquière
By establishing free trade for industrial products in 12 years, the European Union’s Association Agreements with countries in the Mediterranean region seek to promote accelerated economic growth. This paper reviews the literature and evaluates the economic benefits and costs for Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan. It concludes that the benefits could be substantial, but only if accompanied by deep supplementary reforms, including extending trade liberalization to services and agriculture and on a multilateral basis, improving the environment for foreign direct investment, ensuring an adequate fiscal and exchange rate policy response, and strengthening European Union assistance.
Mr. Henri C. Ghesquière

transitional adjustment costs and in exchange for the increased market access for European firms, the EU committed to provide financial assistance. Thus, over the 15-month period through March 1998, Tunisia received financial aid from the EU amounting to ECU 130 million—about 0.5 percent of GDP on an annual basis, only slightly more than Tunisia received from the EU during 1992–96. For all Euro-Med countries combined, about ECU 1 billion has been assigned in grants on an annual basis during 1995–99. III. A greements with O ther M editerranean C ountries 23