Integrar al Magreb

RABAT – La “Revolución del Jazmín” de Túnez arrojó luz sobre las consecuencias que tienen las economías estancadas y el desempleo endémico entre los jóvenes para los gobiernos árabes autoritarios de la región. Algo que pasa más inadvertido es un factor clave que contribuye a este malestar: la incapacidad de los países del Magreb –Argelia, Libia, Mauritania, Marruecos y Túnez- para aumentar su cooperación económica.

De hecho, la Unión Árabe estima que la falta de integración regional le cuesta a cada país dos puntos porcentuales del crecimiento anual del PBI, mientras que la Comisión Económica Africana reconoce que si existiera una Unión del Magreb, cada uno de los cinco países ganaría 5% del PBI. Y el Banco Mundial calcula que una integración más profunda, que incluyera la liberalización de servicios y una reforma de las reglas de inversión, habría aumentado el PBI real per capita en 2005-2015 un 34% en Argelia, un 27% en Marruecos y un 24% en Túnez.

Estos países ya no pueden permitirse esperar. Si mantienen las tasas de crecimiento registradas en los últimos cinco años, les llevará más de dos décadas alcanzar el ingreso per capita actual de México y Turquía, dos miembros no tan ricos de la OCDE.

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