During the ERF 24th Annual Conference, Raed Safadi (Dubai Department of Economic Development) participated as discussant in a parallel session on international economics, focusing on trade policy and the MENA region. After the session, we recorded a short interview with Mr. Safadi, in which he introduces the papers discussed in the session.
The first paper, titled Trade policy in a sovereign Palestinian State?, looks at what kind of trade regime and trade policy the Palestinian authority need to adopt in the future. The paper simulates two trade scenarios, with the first scenario considering the elimination of the tariffs on imports from all trade partners (Full Lib scenario), and the second scenario simulating the imposition of high tariffs on imports from Israel (MFN scenario). According to the conclusion of the paper, a sovereign Palestinian state should adopt a liberal and non-discriminatory trade regime in order to improve all macroeconomic indicators of the West Bank’s economy.
The second paper – The economics of the Syrian refugee crisis in neighboring countries – looks at the impact of Syrian refugees on neighboring countries, Lebanon in particular. The findings of the paper suggest that there is a positive contribution from the refugee influx, with higher GDP, but also, as it can be expected, not a higher per capita income.
The Economic Research Forum’s 24th Annual Conference is held in Cairo, Egypt, on 8-10 July, 2018. The main theme of the plenary sessions is “The New Normal in the Global Economy: Challenges and Prospects for MENA”. The conference aims to draw on the lessons learned from the restructuring of the economic order across the region, particularly in light of the wide-ranging consequences of the decline in oil prices. With social turbulence and conflict persist in several MENA countries, the main goal is adequately reconciling short-term social and economic concerns with long-term growth and reform efforts. Visit the conference website to find out more about the event and access papers, videos and blogs.