Arab Integration

A 21st Century Development Imperative

image of Arab Integration
This report aims to revive the project of Arab integration conferring new dimensions to the concept of integration to include all aspects of the social structure or the elements of human civilization. It also calls for expanding economic integration beyond the narrow scope of trade liberalization to laying out the foundations for production and diversification, and building knowledge-based economies through cooperation in the development of integrated human, technological and productive capacities in the Arab region. Using the best available scientific methods, this report presents standard quantitative estimates of the consequences of keeping current modalities of integration, which are limited to trade liberalization and the establishment of an Arab customs union. Simulations of proposed scenarios for strengthening economic integration were also made and the results compared with the estimated consequences of the status quo.

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Arab political and sectoral integration

The twentieth century saw numerous attempts at unification among Arab States. Some took the form of mergers or unions between two or more Arab countries. Others sought to establish subregional blocs aimed at close cooperation in various sectors. Some experiments succeeded, indicating the scope for integration on a broader scale. Many others foundered on internal and external obstacles that undermined their prospects. In the absence of fertile ground, these experiments in Arab unity did not survive long enough to show their real potential.

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