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Trade

Stories from the Unfinished Revolution: Regulations Leave Bitter Taste for Tunisian Candy Makers

Antonio Nucifora's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français


​Tunisian sugar beet and Sudanese sesame seeds are the main ingredients of the halwa made by Tunisia’s Grand Fabrique de Confiserie Orientale (GFCO) company. Great globs of sesame seeds, mixed with nougat, are put in cans bearing pictures of a gazelle. The Ottoman Turks left behind a taste for this sweet not just in Tunisia but in Libya and Algeria too, and this brand of halwa has long made its own way onto their markets, according to the company's director, Moncef Ayoub.

The Algeria That Wins

Emmanuel Noubissie Ngankam's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français


His achievements may have attracted less attention than the brilliant performance of the Fennecs (“desert foxes”)—the Algerian football team which made it into the round of sixteen at the World Cup in Brazil—but they deserve to be revisited nonetheless. His accomplishments are not included in the records’ book, nor can they be reduced to an act of revenge against France, Algeria’s former colonizer: they are about the kind of success that only globalization holds the key to. 

What will happen to the Middle East and North Africa region if the Ukraine crisis escalates?

Lili Mottaghi's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
 Arne Hoel

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea after the popular voting in early March, the European Union and recently the U.S. and Canada have imposed their first round of sanctions—an asset freeze and travel ban on some officials in Russia and Crimea. This week NATO's foreign ministers, warning that Russian troops could invade the eastern part of Ukraine swiftly, ordered an end to civilian and military cooperation with Russia. Should the crisis escalate, potential fallout on Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries is likely. The effects would be transmitted directly through trade and indirectly through commodity prices.

Privatization: A Key to Solving Egypt’s Economic Woes

Karim Badr El-Din's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
Cairo Street

In 1991, Egypt launched the Economic Reform and Structural Transformation Program (ERSAP) to address dire economic conditions. The difficult financial situation forced the government to reschedule its public debt twice, in 1987 and 1991. The Egyptian reform program moved at a slow pace until 2003, when the government pushed for further liberalization of the economy. The government began by floating the rate of exchange of the Egyptian pound in 2003, followed by the implementation of a series of policies aiming at shifting Egypt from a centrally planned to a free market economy.

Smuggling Adds to Tunisia's Budget Woes

Gael Raballand's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

This blog post was first published on the Trade Post blog by Gael Raballand and Miles McKenna.

A big issue for the business community, informal trade has been equally as troublesome for the cash-strapped transitional government. According to recent World Bank research, the Tunisian government is losing a significant amount of public revenues-- duties, value-added tax and other taxes-- from informal trade along the Libyan and Algerian borders.

Algeria: Has the Moment of Diversification Finally Arrived?

Emmanuel Noubissie Ngankam's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

Algeria: Has the Moment of Diversification Finally Arrived?

The socioeconomic challenges facing Algeria are many, the most urgent of which is without doubt youth unemployment. In a July 5 interview with the weekly, Jeune Afrique, Mr. Issad Rebrab, the CEO of Algeria’s leading private industrial group Cevital, ran through the raw facts: “Our unemployment rate is 10%, but youth unemployment is above 35%”. He added: “Algeria must move swiftly towards diversifying its economy and creating jobs.”

Time for an Economic Spring in the Arab world

Jean-Pierre Chauffour's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
       

For some, the Arab spring, so-called, has already turned into winter. History does not necessarily repeat itself though, but for what happens next in the Arab world to have any chance at being good, there is an urgent need for an Arab economic awakening. For without strong economic underpinnings, and without growth and quality employment for the millions of young Arab men and women who seek jobs and a decent life, the Arab democratic transition indeed faces a grim future.

What will it take to enhance Morocco’s competitiveness?

Philippe de Meneval's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
        World Bank | Arne Hoel

In Morocco, a structural transformation of the economy that will lead to stronger growth and job creation will require a coordinated set of policies in several key areas. It will involve maintaining the stability of the macroeconomic environment, improving the business environment, and developing a trade policy that better supports the competitiveness of Moroccan products. 

The universal language of trade, Part II

Will Stebbins's picture
Also available in: Français
The last few years have been sobering for the Maghreb.  The sudden drop off in demand from the European Union, as a result of the financial crisis, was a stark lesson in the perils of over reliance on a single trading partner, no matter how large. It also revealed how the lack of integration left the region fully exposed to external shocks. The rise of youth unemployment, and the manifestation of popular discontent in the ‘Arab Spring,’ has also made economic growth a priority, as the only way to satisfy the demand for more and better opportunities. 

The universal language of trade

Will Stebbins's picture
Also available in: Français
There was a brief moment of confusion at the opening of the ministerial workshop on regional trade in the Maghreb. Habib Ben Yahia, the secretary general of the Arab Maghreb Union, wondered out loud about which language he should use. Before him was a diverse audience that he could address in Arabic, French, English? What to choose?  Sitting next to him, the Moroccan minister of transport and equipment, Aziz Rabbah nailed it: ‘Speak the language of trade! ’

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