RegionalTrade Agreements in the Middle East Replies
Accordingto post 1, lack of economic integration between the Middle East andNorth Africa is a common phenomenon. The problem is attributed toparallel views in both politics and business, government’s stronginfluence in running businesses, and weak economic development causedby ethnic as well as religious divisions. High degree of corruptionin countries within MENA region also impacts economic integration inMENA. According to this post, the absence of some of the MENAcountries as members of World Trade Organization and prosecution ofChristian community also contributes to poor economic development inMENA region.
Insupport of the above assertion, a good number of countries in theMiddle East are renowned of political instability in addition to pooreconomic performance. As a result of this, many people advocaterevitalization of the private sector as one solution to economicstagnation experienced in MENA (Fardoust, 2016). Equally, politicalunrest in addition to civil wars in some of the countries within MENAderails economic development in MENA region (Fardoust, 2016). Post 1however left out other factors that affect economic integration InMENA. For instance, it is apparent that fragile business climate,high unemployment among educated individuals, poor integrationpolicies, and inadequacy of natural resources significantly affecteconomic integration in MENA region. In support of the claim, WorldEconomic Forum (2013) states that MENA region leads regardingunemployment in the whole world. The high rate of unemploymentcontributes to the wave of protests that affect economic developmentbesides regional integration in MENA region.
Post1 successfully presented political and business issues andprosecution of the Christian community as some of the factors behindthe poor economic development and poor regional integration in MENAregion. However, it had some weaknesses. The post did exhaust orexpound on the other main factors that derail economic developmentand regional integration in MENA region.
According to Post 2, oil cartel referred to as OPEC contributessignificantly to the lack of integration in MENA region. OPEC oftencoerced people to fight, causing increased rift between individuals.The post also associates the selling of only petroleum by countriesin North Africa and the Middle East with the lack of integration inMENA. Since these countries share the same commodity, petroleum, theycannot trust each other even if they join WTO. The flooding of themarket with petroleum by some countries with MENA affects therelationship of countries within MENA. According to this post, somecountries within MENA region support other countries such as theUnited States and terrorist groups such as ISIS so that they cancrush competitors to have full control of the petroleum market.Equally, the article claims that the price war for petroleum affectsthe integration of countries within MENA region.
Theclaim presented in Post 2 is evidenced by the recent activities inthe world. Many countries around the globe benefit from the pricewars by petroleum producing countries. However, petroleum price warsare not the main factors for lack of economic integration in MENAregion. According to Rother, Pierre, Lombardo,Herrala, Toffano, Roos,and Auclair (2016), increased population growth, ideological as wellas religious schisms in addition to economic inequality are thereasons behind the MENA conflicts. The variation in the price ofpetroleum by different countries is often aimed at improving theeconomic status of oneself. The price wars are also as a result ofpoor economic policies by the countries involved in the petroleumbusiness. Almost all countries within MENA region have theirindividual problems. The different mix of problems makes the economicintegration of the countries impossible (Cordesman, 2014).
Post2 had very few strengths compared to its weaknesses. The associationof OPEC with the lack of economic integration in MENA concurs withwhat has been taking place in the global oil market. However, thereare other key factors such as political instability in manycountries, poor economic policies, and high rate of unemploymentwhich is not addressed in the post that derail economic integrationin MENA.
Cordesman,A. (2014). Risks and Instability in the Middle East and North Africain 2016. Center for Strategic & International Studies.
Fardoust,S. (2016). Economic Integration in Middle East: Prospects forDevelopment and Stability. RegionalCooperation Series.
Rother,B. et al. (2016). The Economic Impact of Conflicts and the RefugeeCrisis in the Middle East and North Africa. InternationalMonetary Fund.
WorldEconomic Forum. (2013). World Economic Forum on the Middle East andNorth Africa: Advancing Conditions for Growth and Resilience. WorldEconomic Forum.