The economy of the Maghreb – a motor for regional prosperity and integration

August 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Dans son dernier rapport de juillet 2012, Milton Park, un think-tank britannique, appelle à une “feuille de route claire pour avancer vers une intégration réussie au Maghreb”, en passant par l’Union du Maghreb Arabe (en relation avec l’UE et l’Union pour la Méditerranée), afin de favoriser la prospérité économique de la région. Les défis principaux : emploi pour les jeunes, intégration économique régionale (favorisant les investissements), Banque du Maghreb (intégration au niveau bancaire et financier), éducation et formation.

Members of the committee of the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) pose for a picture during a meeting of the Monitoring Committee of UMA in Rabat 18 February 2012. Seen here from left to right are Representative of Mauritania Mohmed Oueld Moaouiya, UMA Secretary General and Tunisian Diplomat Habib Ben Yahya, Foreign Minister of Morocco Saad Dine El Othmani, Foreign Minister of Algeria Mourad Medelci, Foreign Minister of Tunisia Rafik Abdessalem, and Foreign Minister of Libya Ashour bin Khayyal. (Photo: REUTERS – Stringer)

The economy of the Maghreb could be a motor for regional prosperity and integration, according to Milton Park,  a British think-tank. Milton Park’s report in several key points:

  • In the wake of the Arab democratic wave expectations are high – young people in particular are calling for employment opportunities in the context of more open and effective societies – politicians must be seen to respond fast.
  • Regional economic integration is a pivotal factor to encourage local and foreign direct investment. Political will has been the main obstacle to turn rhetoric into action.
  • A road map, with clear steps to achieve integration objectives, is the best tool.
  • The Arab Maghreb Union is best placed to implement the integration framework already in place and should seize the window of opportunity presented by the October summit.
  • Implementing plans to set up the Maghreb Bank is a priority.
  • International financial institutions, such as the Africa Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank, have set an example through their commitment to the Maghreb.
  • Education and developing skills is key – and an area where international support and engaging with business can be particularly helpful.
  • European economic integration can provide a useful model of “dos and don’ts”. The EU remains an essential partner with an opportunity to re-launch the relationship.
  • The UK played a constructive role in Europe over the Maghreb. The forthcoming UK G8 Presidency is an opportunity to move ahead on achieving the aid plan set out at the 2011 G8 summit in Deauville.
  • The Union for the Mediterranean is well placed to play a role, particularly in promoting projects.

Download the meeting report as a PDF [272KB]

Download the meeting programme as PDF [163KB]

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