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CAIRO BOOKS's Description
China and India's spectacular economic rise over the last two decades has
accelerated their trade and investment flows with the Middle East and North
Africa (MENA), particularly with the oil-producing countries. And while these
flows are still small, China and India's presence in the region is on the rise.
This report focuses on the following questions: • what have been evolution and
the impact of MENA's trade and investment relations with China and India? •
what actions can be taken to maximize the benefits from these relations and to
enhance MENA's international integration? The main findings indicate that the
region as a whole has benefited from the rise of China and India in terms of
better terms of trade, significant increases in oil and gas exports, and
cheaper imports. However, producers of industrial goods have been
negatively—and in a few cases severely—affected by competition with the two
Asian countries in both third and domestic markets. While China and India are
investing more in MENA, they are contributing very little to job creation or to
the transfer and diffusion of technology. Faster growth in the two Asian
countries—and the associated higher demand for energy—will increase revenues
from oil and the difficult choices associated with their management. For the
labor-abundant, non oil-producing countries, competition with China and India
will increase. But the lack of competitive manufacturing industries and
services, the insufficient attention given in the past to building
technological capabilities and promoting openness and entrepreneurship are
constraining their ability to respond to competition. They need to accelerate
productivity to tackle unemployment, especially among youth. This may require
the broader institutional changes seen in China and India— suggesting the
importance of a pragmatic reform agenda that can accelerate productivity,
trade, and investment in the region.