Middle East and Central Asia > Algeria

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International Monetary Fund
This paper assesses recent developments in gas markets and the implications for Algerian gas demand and prices. Algeria’s gas production is stable but its share in global gas production has been on a downward trend since the early 2000s. The impact of a change in the spot oil price (WTI) on gas prices can be statically examined with a vector autoregression (VAR). The impact of spot oil prices on Algeria’s contracted gas price remains strong, but export volumes are under pressure.
Mr. Boileau Loko and Mame Astou Diouf
This paper studies the main determinants of total factor productivity (TFP) growth using principal component analysis and a dynamic panel data model and, through a case study, explores key areas where accelerated reforms in the Maghreb countries would boost TFP gains. The results reveal that reforms targeted at attracting foreign direct investment and rationalizing government size, shifting resources from low-productivity sectors to higher ones, and encouraging women to enter the work force, could accelerate TFP gains. Equally important are reforms aimed at strengthening human capital, increasing the volume of trade, and improving the business environment.
Ms. Florence Jaumotte
The paper investigates whether the market size of a regional trade agreement (RTA) is a determinant of foreign direct investment (FDI) received by countries participating in the RTA. This hypothesis is tested on a sample of 71 developing countries during the period 1980-99. Evidence is found that the RTA market size had a positive impact on the FDI received by member countries, even more so in the 1990s when such agreements were revived and became more widespread. The size of domestic population also seemed to matter, possibly because of its effect on the availability of the labor supply. It appears, however, that not all countries in the RTA benefited to the same extent from the RTA: countries with a relatively more educated labor force and/or a relatively more stable financial situation tended to attract a larger share of FDI at the expense of their RTA partners. This evidence suggests it is essential for all RTA countries to improve their business environment to the best available in the region. Finally, a partial negative correlation between the FDI received by RTA countries and that received by non-RTA countries possibly reflects a diversion of FDI from non-RTA to RTA countries. As an illustration, FDI benefits are simulated from the creation of a regional trade agreement between Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The IMF has added its voice to the debate over the euro area’s Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), urging the three largest countries—France, Germany, and Italy—to rein in their fiscal deficits. It also trimmed its economic growth forecasts for the 12-nation monetary union and urged the European Central Bank (ECB) to adopt a bias toward lowering interest rates.
Amer Bisat, Mr. Mohamed A. El-Erian, Mr. Mahmoud El-Gamal, and Mr. Francesco P Mongelli
The paper considers investment and growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Notwithstanding cross-country differences, investment as a whole has been too low, too heavily tilted toward the public sector, too highly dependent on external influences, and less productive than in many other regions. Improving the region’s investment performance is critical if policymakers are to succeed in increasing the region’s economic growth rate. After discussing the relationship between investment and growth, the paper analyzes the investment responsiveness of various countries in the region and notes the policy priorities for strengthening the basis for rapid and sustained economic growth.

Abstract

This volume, edited by Said El-Naggar, is the fifth in a series of seminars dealing with economic issues of particular importance to the Arab countries. Held in Manama, Bahrain, in February 1993, it covered topics pertaining to economic development of the Arab countries in the nineties. The seven papers that were presented comprised economic reform in the Arab countries, including particularly structural issues; investment policies and capital flows; inter-Arab labor movements; environment and development; development of human resources; and European economic integration. An overview of the topics is presented by the seminar moderator, Said El-Naggar.

Abstract

IMF economists work closely with member countries on a variety of issues. Their unique perspective on country experiences and best practices on global macroeconomic issues are often shared in the form of books on diverse topics such as cross-country comparisons, capacity building, macroeconomic policy, financial integration, and globalization.