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Mr. George T. Abed

the impact of tariff reductions on budgetary revenue in the SMR countries and assesses these countries’ progress in implementing domestic tax reforms. These reforms are intended to help these countries compensate for the loss of tariff revenue and, more generally, to adjust to a more competitive environment of closer integration with the EU. 2. The principal economic provisions of the agreements include the elimination of any remaining restrictions on the EU’s free access to the SMR countries’ industrial products; the gradual elimination (over a 12-year period) of

Mr. George T. Abed
The European Union’s Association Agreements with several countries in the Southern Mediterranean Region (SMR) aim to promote deeper economic integration between the SMR and the EU by establishing a free trade area in twelve years. Because a large share of the SMR countries’ total imports comes from the EU, the removal of import tariffs could reduce budgetary revenue by the equivalent of 1 percent to 4 percent of individual countries’ GDP. This paper proposes tax and tariff reforms that would help generate the needed compensatory revenue and, more important in the long run, reduce the distortionary effects of the tax and tariff systems and underpin higher rates of sustainable growth.
Mr. George T. Abed

Front Matter Page Fiscal Affairs Department Contents Summary I. Introduction II. Revenue Impact of the Agreements III. Tax and Tariff Reforms in the SMR IV. Revenue Shares in SMR Countries V. Concluding Observations Text Tables 1. Southern Mediterranean Region Countries: Tariff Revenue from Trade with the EU 2. Southern Mediterranean Region Countries: Status of Tax and Tariff Reforms, 1996 3. Effective Tariffs by World Regions—1975–95 4. Effective Tariffs in Selected Countries of the Middle East and the Southern Mediterranean

Ms. Susan Fennell, Ms. Patricia Alonso-Gamo, and Mr. Khaled Sakr

Reforms and the Implications for MENA Manufactures Agriculture Services V. The EU-Mediterranean Initiative A. Introduction B. The Main Features of the Euro-Mediterranean Agreements C. Economic Implications for SMR Countries: Costs and Benefits VI. Policy Implications and Conclusions Tables 1. Share of MENA Exports in EU Markets, 1980-94 2. Intraregional Trade 3. Openness Indicators: MENA and other Regions 1990-95 4. Trade to GDP Ratios in MENA Countries, 1976-95 5. MENA Countries—Summary of Customs Tariff and Other Duties and

Ms. Susan Fennell, Ms. Patricia Alonso-Gamo, and Mr. Khaled Sakr

, with agreements that seek to strengthen political ties and create a free-trade Euro-Mediterranean area with Southern Mediterranean Rim (SMR) countries over 12 years. Increased aid and technical assistance from the EU will support the needed structural reforms. 16 Agreements have recently been concluded with Tunisia, Morocco and Israel, and are currently being negotiated with Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. This new generation of agreements will supersede the previous ones, dating from the 1970s, which provided duty-free access to EU markets for most industrial

Mr. Saleh M. Nsouli, Amer Bisat, and Mr. Oussama Kanaan

Establishing a free-trade area with the southern Mediterranean region is the centerpiece of the European Union’s new Mediterranean strategy. Strong adjustment and reform efforts by the countries of the region will be essential for the strategy’s success . THE EUROPEAN countries have traditionally had close political, social, and economic relations with the countries of the southern basin of the Mediterranean region (SMR). The SMR countries are defined here to include Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, and Tunisia, although the

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.
Ms. Susan Fennell, Ms. Patricia Alonso-Gamo, and Mr. Khaled Sakr
This paper addresses concerns that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with the exception of the GCC economies, has lagged behind in trade liberalization. This delay has adversely affected production efficiency and consumer welfare and could reduce the region’s ability to attract foreign investment. Against this background, the paper examines the major challenges facing MENA if it is to benefit from the opportunities presented by the Uruguay Round and the European Union Mediterranean Initiative. It concludes with an overview of measures that MENA countries will need to implement to benefit from these trade-enhancing initiatives.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Mr. Vito Tanzi and Ludger Schuknecht

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.