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36 CHAPTER 2 Figure 2.3 Regional agreement for MENA countries MENAa GAFTA Iraq AMU


Tunisia Morocco


Mauritania Egypt Algeria Libya Djibouti Sudan


Eastern and Southern African countries


COMESA


Source: Devised by the authors. Notes:


AGADIR, Agadir Agreement (2004); AMU, Arab Maghreb Union (1989); COMESA, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa; GAFTA, Greater Arab Free Trade Area; GCC, Gulf Cooperation Council; MENA, Middle East and North Africa.


aIsrael is omitted from the MENA region.


future members, and the agreement includes the removal of tariffs and NTBs as well as provisions to liberalize agriculture, a step up from the EMAAs. Still, the agreement suffers from impediments that limit the expected economic benefits. The agreement does not cover service trade and investment or sani- tary and phytosanitary standards and technical barriers to trade. Strict rules regarding origins require that over 40 percent of the value added to products be contributed by a GAFTA country, and countries must undergo a cumber- some approval process to qualify. Finally, GAFTA does not seem to have a regulatory body that will enforce the commitments made by its members or settle disputes: countries may change (unilaterally or within the context of bilateral agreements) their agricultural calendars without notification, leaving other members to face the amended schedules at customs (Brunel 2008).


The Agadir Agreement


At the end of the 1990s, four Mediterranean Arab countries—Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia—concluded bilateral FTAs with each other. By 2004 these four countries had signed the Agadir Agreement, and implementation began


Syria


Lebanon West Bank and Gaza


Yemen Jordan AGADIR


Kuwait Bahrain Qatar


United Arab Emirates Oman


Saudi Arabia Iran


GCC


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