Attempts aimed at enhancing inter-Arab integration have been abound. Unfortunately, to date, these efforts have been unsatisfactory and indeed discouraging. This paper critically evaluates previous attempts by shedding light on the underlying reasons that made closer inter-Arab integration difficult to achieve. Lack of genuine committments, the absence of private sector involvement, and political considerations have been key factors that have inhibited the expansion of inter-Arab trade relations. However, developments that have unfolded in the global political system and their implications on the regional dynamics have given impetus to what could be termed as sub-regionalism. Influenced by the concept of sub-regional integration, four Arab countries (Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco) signed the Agadir Declaration in May 2001. The primary objective is to enhance trade and cooperation amongst this group of like-minded states. This paper makes that case that the Agadir Declaration, if managed properly, has the potential of taking the issue of regional integration to a higher gear.
Hassan A. Barari , Ibrahim H. Saif