Liberalization of Transport Services in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Liberalization of Transport Services in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco

Subidey Togan

May, 2009

PRR 31

48 pages

F2. International Factor Movements and International Business
F. International Economics

This report is about economic liberalization of maritime and road transportation services. It is made up of two papers emanating from work that began with the FEMISE project “Impact of Liberalization of Trade in Services: Banking, Telecommunications and Maritime Transport in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey” (FEM22-02). The study was later followed by an Economic Research Forum (ERF) project “Quantifying the Impact of Liberalization of Services and Network Industries within the Context of EU Integration in Turkey” (ERF Project No: ERF 03-TK-2002) as well as another entitled “Promoting Trade in Services in the MENA Region: A Pilot Project”.

The first paper in this report analyzes liberalization of the maritime freight transport sector in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco by studying the international regulatory regime and the regulatory regime in the EU. The paper discusses liberalization efforts in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco and presents the necessary international and EU rules and regulations to be implemented in these countries in order to improve the  safety, security and efficiency of maritime transport operations as well as to develop efficient transport networks, without restricting market access and commercial presence.

The second paper presented in this report looks at road freight transport services in Egypt, Morocco and Jordan. Recognizing that in order to liberalize the sector countries have to remove the legal or administrative provisions restricting market access and commercial presence and that Egypt, Morocco and Jordan could aim for active convergence with the European Union (EU) road freight transport sector, the paper investigates the international and the EU rules and regulations in the road freight transportation sector, and discusses the liberalization efforts in these three MENA countries with an aim to highlight which international and EU rules and regulations could be implemented effectively to achieve greater liberalization of the sector.

Together these two papers reveal that considerable progress has been made with regards to liberalization efforts in maritime and road freight transportation services in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco since the 1990s. However much still remains to be done. When reforming both the maritime and road freight transport sectors the roles of government and the private sector in MENA countries need to be clearly specified, and public administrations should be encouraged to focus primarily on regulatory tasks and concede gradually all of the commercial activities to the private sector. Since maritime transportation is inherently international in character, and because hauliers move internationally there is an inherent need for harmonization and standardization of rules and regulations related to the international operations of these transportation sectors. This study outlines the importance of improved regulation and greater adherence to international regulations and conventions, and in particular to EU regulations, to strengthen the capacities of MENA maritime administrations, eliminate barriers to border crossing, and to increase private sector participation in upgrading and improving the infrastructure in the road transport sector, to mention but a few potential positive outcomes. This will provide simultaneous convergence of these regulations between MENA countries on the one hand and between them and the EU on the other.

Research Fellows

Subidey Togan

Professor, Bilkent University



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