Growth of output was 5.7 percent in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region during 2007, marking the fifth year in a row that average growth was above 5 percent. While this is impressive in relation to past performance, it is lower than growth achieved in most other parts of the developing world.
To keep up in an increasingly competitive global environment, the region must continue toundertake structural reforms affecting such areas as business climate, trade policy and governance.
The thematic focus of this year’s report is intra-regional integration. This is viewed not just as a set of preferential trade agreements but also as a means to foster the flow of labor, capital and investment.
The report suggests the adoption of a paradigm of open regionalism in which regional preferences would be used as stepping stones towards greater integration with the global economy.