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The price competitiveness vis-à-vis the eurozone: A comparison of MENA countries and CEECs

By Jamal Bouoiyour and Serge Rey


Europe is the natural space for the integration of the Middle East and North Africa countries (MENA) and the Central and Eastern Europe Countries (CEEC). By their small economic size, these countries revolve around the European pole with which they perform the bulk of their trade. The competitiveness becomes even tougher with the progress of the liberalization and the reintegration of CEECs into the European space. In this work, we compare the price competitiveness between six MENA countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey) and five CEECs (Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Czech Republic), vis-à-vis the eurozone, over the period 1970-1998 (quarterly data). For this, we proceed with measures of real effective exchange rates and a statistical study of these rates. We show that, vis-à-vis the euro area, the MENA countries are more price competitive than CEECs. This raises the question of exchange rate policies.MENA, CEEC, real effective exchange rate, unit root, exchange rate policy

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