Annual Review of Developments in Globalization and Regional Integration in the Arab Countries

English
Frequency
Annual
ISSN: 
2414-7265 (online)
http://dx.doi.org/10.18356/95fa422e-en
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The Annual Review of Developments in Globalization and Regional Integration in the Arab Countries examines different aspects of trade and economic ccoperation on a global scale and their effects on the Arab region, as well as developments in economic cooperation between Arab countries themselves.
  • 2007
 
Annual Review of Developments in Globalization and Regional Integration in the Arab Countries, 2007

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Author(s):
UN
27 Feb 2013
Pages:
101
ISBN:
9789210557740 (PDF)
http://dx.doi.org/10.18356/b9466ffc-en

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This sixth edition of the Annual Review addresses comprehensively the significant developments in globalization and regional integration in the Arab countries. It covers the progress made by Arab countries in integrating their economies into the world economy as well as their efforts in Arab regional integration. The progress made in Arab regional integration is reviewed through an analysis of set of sectors that play an important role in regional integration such as trade, investment, tourism, labor remittances and official development assistance (ODA) on the Arab intraregional level.
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  • Preface
  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Executive summary
    The efforts made by the Arab countries in 2006 to enhance their integration into the world economy produced varying results. Their share of world trade and revenues from tourism saw a slight increase; the former increased by 4.1 per cent compared with 3.9 per cent in 2005; the latter grew by nearly 178 per cent in five years from US$ 15.1 billion in 2001 to US$ 42 billion in 2006. Furthermore, foreign exchange reserves in the Arab world grew slightly in 2006 to reach 5.5 per cent of the world total, in comparison with 5,2 per cent in 2005. On the other hand, foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into the Arab countries in 2006 declined a little as a percentage of global FDI inflows, reaching 4.78 per cent compared with 4.87 per cent in 2005 and less than 1 per cent in 2001. In addition, natural gas reserves dropped to 29.4 per cent in 2006, compared with 32.1 per cent in 2005.
  • Introduction
    This sixth edition of the Annual Review addresses comprehensively the significant developments in globalization and regional integration in the Arab countries. It covers the progress made by Arab countries in integrating their economies into the world economy as well as their efforts in Arab regional integration. Globalization is reviewed by drawing a comparison between 2006 and earlier years based on a set of significant indicators such as the Arab countries' share of the world economy, particularly their share of international trade, FDI, production and export of oil and gas, as well as tourism. However, the progress made in Arab regional integration is reviewed through an analysis of a set of sectors that play an important role in regional integration such as trade, investment, tourism, labour remittances and official development assistance (ODA) on the Arab intraregional level.
  • Arab world share of the global economy
    The Arab countries in 2006 made attempts to increase their share of the global economy in various sectors. A look at the figures in table 1 shows that the Arab countries varied in the progress they made in increasing their share of the global economy; the substantial increase in their GDP in 2006 was reflected in their share of the global GDP which rose from about 2.4 per cent in 2005 to 2.64 per cent in 2006.
  • International trade negotiations and trade facilitation
    The current round of multilateral trade negotiations in WTO, knows as "The Doha Development Agenda", has been facing a real crisis since the failure of the Fifth Ministerial Conference held in Cancun, Mexico in September 2003. Four years later the situation did not show brighter prospects in 2007, notwithstanding numerous developments that brought some hope of a breakthrough such as the July 2004 package, the WTO Sixth Ministerial Conference held in Hong Kong in December 2005, and the persistent efforts of the chairs of the negotiating groups. Apparently an impasse is reached as member States come close to discussing substantive issues in the rounds of negotiations, particularly the issue of agriculture as was the case when negotiations were suspended in 2006. Up to the date of preparation of this report, there was no serious indication that serious solutions or agreements will be reached in this connection in the months leading to 2008. This section will address the most important developments in the Doha Round of negotiations in 2007.
  • Regional integration
    No new or significant developments were reported on the performance of the Arab countries in enhancing regional integration. Available figures draw a mixed picture: there was progress in performance on some indicators of Arab regional integration and a lag on others in 2005 and 2006. Arab intraregional trade as a percentage of total Arab trade grew slightly from 11.2 per cent in 2005 to 11.3 per cent in 2006. On the other hand, Arab intraregional investment as a percentage of total FDI dropped from about 34 per cent in 2005 to almost 27.4 per cent in 2006 (table 14), notwithstanding the significant growth by about 74 per cent of FDI inflows in 2006 due to the higher growth rate total FDI in comparison with the growth rate of Arab intraregional investment. The difference shows that the most important source of FDI flows into the Arab countries continues to be non-Arab countries, especially the European Union, United States of America and Japan; Jordan, the Sudan and Yemen are exceptions in the sense that intraregional investment there contributes a high percentage of total FDI inflows.
  • Index of regional integration and interrelations among Arab securities markets
    For the second year in a row, ESCWA constructs an index of regional integration on the basis of four fundamental variables opening up trade, investment, workers' remittances, and tourism (table 26). For 2006, the same weighting factors of the last Annual Review will be used: 38.22 for the trade variable, 12.82 for the investment variable, 34.07 for the workers' remittances variable, and 14.89 for the tourism variable.
  • Sectoral approach to Arab integration
    Numerous development projects are underway in the seaport sector in the ESCWA region, involving the building of new ports or the expansion and development of infrastructure, especially container terminals. Most ports of the region develop and modernize their operational methods by utilizing ICT systems in the operation of container terminals in particular as well as in other areas such as management and accounting. In this connection, it should be noted that by the end of 2007 ESCWA will publish a study currently underway entitled "Goal practices in information and communication technology -applications in seaports in ESCWA member States", with a view to acquainting ESCWA member countries with the latest ICT used in the ports of the region and worldwide. In addition, the study points out the uses, benefits and solutions that enhance operational efficiency and improve management.
  • Summary and recommendations
    The conclusions of the sixth edition of the Annual Review of Developments in Globalization and Regional Integration in the Arab Countries, 2007, may be summarized as follows
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