Trade Liberalization and Tax Reform in the Southern Mediterranean Region


George T. Abed

Publication Date:

April 1, 1998

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


The European Union’s Association Agreements with several countries in the Southern Mediterranean Region (SMR) aim to promote deeper economic integration between the SMR and the EU by establishing a free trade area in twelve years. Because a large share of the SMR countries’ total imports comes from the EU, the removal of import tariffs could reduce budgetary revenue by the equivalent of 1 percent to 4 percent of individual countries’ GDP. This paper proposes tax and tariff reforms that would help generate the needed compensatory revenue and, more important in the long run, reduce the distortionary effects of the tax and tariff systems and underpin higher rates of sustainable growth.


Working Paper No. 1998/049



Publication Date:

April 1, 1998



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