This study evaluates the early impact of the phase-out of the Multi-Fiber Agreement (MFA) on the textile and clothing sectors (T&C) in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia (MENA-4), with a focus on Egypt. Based on the assessment, the paper offers a number of recommendations to maximize the benefits from liberalization of international trade in T&C. In particular, it finds that the phasing-out of the MFA had a mixed impact on the T&C sectors of the MENA-4. In order for these countries to capture the full benefits from the phase-out, the paper stresses the importance of improving export competitiveness and growth through diversifying export markets, reducing the cost of T&C inputs, easing restrictive rules of origin, improving trade logistics, and pursuing deeper integration both regionally and internationally. For Egypt, the study specifically highlights the need to restructure the T&C industry, improve the export subsidies program, enhance training and education in the T&C industry, encourage the production of other types of cotton, and upgrade port facilities.
Author(s): Miria Pigato and Ahmed Ghoneim