MENA countries will face increasing pressures to improve competitiveness in existing export sectors and to develop new areas of comparative advantage. Today, exports remain heavily concentrated in mineral fuels; export capacity in manufacturing is among the lowest in the world. However, MENA economies also demonstrate dynamism and global competitiveness in natural resource sectors, especially in high-value agriculture. A strategy to develop new areas of comparative advantage includes promoting knowledge and R&D-intensive natural resource exports and a world class trade logistics system. Greater attention to commodity-logistic chains may also help identify potential supporters of reforms.
Devlin, J. (2003), "From citrus to cellphones? Agriculture as source of new comparative advantage in the Middle East and North Africa", Food, Agriculture, and Economic Policy in the Middle East and North Africa (Research in Middle East Economics, Vol. 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 33-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1094-5334(03)05006-4
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