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Journal of Economic Integration 2024 June;39(2) :454-482.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.11130/jei.2024010
The Prospect of the GCC Monetary Union and its Expansion to Other MENA Countries

Mohamed Sheriff Hamid Kamara 

Higher Colleges of Technology, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Corresponding Author: Mohamed Sheriff Hamid Kamara ,Email: mshkamara@gmail.com
Copyright ©2024 Journal of Economic Integration
ABSTRACT
This study investigated the possibility of expanding the GCC monetary union to other MENA countries using cluster analysis for the period 2000-2018. It also examined whether the economic characteristics of the countries provide evidence for the readiness of countries for the proposed union. The findings show that there was heterogeneity in the GCC and MENA countries suggesting that the countries were not yet economically ready for the launch of the monetary union. We found evidence in support of the expansion of the GCC monetary union to other MENA countries with two categories of countries, the core and the periphery. We also revealed key variables, including inflation differential, debt service requirement, and current account balance, which clearly demarcated the GCC and other MENA countries. These findings underscore the need for policy-makers in MENA countries to strengthen intraregional trade creating policy, policy coordination, and harmonisation for a successful and sustainable monetary union.

JEL Classification
F02: International Economic Order
F15: Economic Integration
F33: International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
F45: Macroeconomic Issues of Monetary Unions
F68: Policy
Keywords: optimum currency area | Monetary Union | cluster analysis | Middle East and North Africa (MENA) | Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) | economic integration
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