Impact of Arabic Spring on the Competitiveness of Arab States’ Agricultural Exports to EU Markets
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The trade between the Arab States (21 countries) and the EU countries represents the largest proportion of their total trade with the whole world. It amounted to more than 60% in 2011. Therefore, the EU markets remain the first priority in achieving competitiveness for the agricultural sector exports of the Arab countries. The study targeted a comprehensive evaluation of competitive agricultural exports through a multi-staged model. The first included design and implementation of an index for agricultural development as a geometric means of four sub-indices: Agricultural Resources Index, Agricultural Productivity Index, Labor Employment Index in Agriculture, and Agricultural Foreign Trade Index. The identified four Arab countries with the highest agricultural development index score were Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt and Sudan.
The exported food commodity groups, from the identified Arab States to EU Markets, that recognized values of the RCA index above one along the years 2015 and 2016 were selected. These were fruit and vegetable exports of Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, fish exports of Morocco and Tunisia, and sugar and honey product exports from Egypt and Sudan.
Fruit and vegetable exports of Egypt and to the EU achieved a more stable comparative advantage than Tunisia and Morocco. However, Tunisia achieved a more stable comparative advantage than Morocco. The stability of the RCA index of fish exports to the EU market was higher for Tunisia than Morocco. Although Sudan showed high comparative advantage in exporting sugar products to the European market, it performed a high degree of instability compared to its rival Egypt. The study underlined the importance of coordination and integration of the export policies among the four identified Arab countries to raise their competitiveness in the European markets. As the four countries enjoy diversification in climate, water, soil resources and location advantages, they can establish joint venture projects for grading, packing processing, storage and transportation networks.
KeywordsCompetitiveness Revealed comparative advantage Instability Sustainability Competitiveness
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