Regional Partners in Global Markets: Limits and Possibilities of the Euro-Med Agreements

As the debate continues to rage over the pros and cons of regionalism versus multilateralism, policy-makers who have decided to integrate confront another set of questions: Which country or bloc of countries should they integrate with? What form of integration is most desirable? Under what conditions will integration further the national interest? This book - empirical in nature and policy-oriented in scope - attempts to help answer such questions and thus to assist policy-makers looking to make the best of preferential trade agreements. The proliferation of such agreements in recent years - over 100 are listed with the World Trade Organization - attests to the timeliness of the book, and to the need to explore whether preferential trade agreements are actually beneficial, and how to realize and maximize their potential. Whether their potential benefits are obtained depends greatly on the contents of the negotiated agreement and on the policy stances of the member countries. After emphasizing new developments in thinking on regional integration, this book provides evidence of actual and possible effects of recent trade agreements: NAFTA, AFTA, and the agreements that the EU negotiated with Tunisia and with Morocco. It also discusses the potential impact of a similar agreement between Egypt and the EU, at both the national and the sectoral levels, and offers policy options for Egypt in negotiating and adjusting to its agreement with the EU. Although much of the book concentrates on Mediterranean countries, particularly Egypt, the analyses and approaches can be generalized and applied to other nations contemplating or engaged in preferential trade agreement negotiations.