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Egypt's 'Orderly Transition?' International Aid and the Rush
to Structural Adjustment

by Adam Hanieh

Jadaliyya
May 29, 2011

http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/1711/egypt%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98orderly-transition%E2%80%99-international-aid-and

[Jadaliyya is an independent ezine produced by ASI (Arab
Studies Institute), a network of writers associated with the
Arab Studies Journal (www.ArabStudiesJournal.org).]

Although press coverage of events in Egypt may have dropped
off the front pages, discussion of the post-Mubarak period
continues to dominate the financial news. Over the past few
weeks, the economic direction of the interim Egyptian
government has been the object of intense debate in the
World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). US President
Obama's 19 May speech on the Middle East and North Africa
devoted much space to the question of Egypt's economic
future - indeed, the sole concrete policy advanced in his
talk concerned US economic relationships with Egypt. The G8
meeting in France held on 26 and 27 May continued this
trend, announcing that up to US$20 billion would be offered
to Egypt and Tunisia. When support from the Gulf Arab states
is factored into these figures, Egypt alone appears to be on
the verge of receiving around $15 billion in loans,
investment and aid from governments and the key
international financial institutions (IFI).

The press releases accompanying the announcement of these
financial packages have spoken grandly of "the transition to
democracy and freedom", which, as several analysts have
noted, conveniently obfuscates the previous support of
Western governments for the deposed dictators in Tunisia and
Egypt. This article argues, however, that a critique of
these financial packages needs to be seen as much more than
just a further illustration of Western hypocrisy. The
plethora of aid and investment initiatives advanced by the
leading powers in recent days represents a conscious attempt
to consolidate and reinforce the power of Egypt's dominant
class in the face of the ongoing popular mobilizations. They
are part of, in other words, a sustained effort to restrain
the revolution within the bounds of an `orderly transition'
- to borrow the perspicacious phrase that the US government
repeatedly used following the ousting of Mubarak.

At the core of this financial intervention in Egypt is an
attempt to accelerate the neoliberal program that was
pursued by the Mubarak regime. The IFI financial packages
ostensibly promote measures such as `employment creation',
`infrastructure expansion' and other seemingly laudable
goals, but, in reality, these are premised upon the classic
neoliberal policies of privatization, de-regulation and
opening to foreign investment. Despite the claims of
democratic transition, the institutions of the Egyptian
state are being refashioned within this neoliberal drive as
an enabling mechanism of the market. Egypt is, in many ways,
shaping up as the perfect laboratory of the so-called post-
Washington Consensus, in which a liberal-sounding `pro poor'
rhetoric - principally linked to the discourse of
democratization - is used to deepen the neoliberal
trajectory of the Mubarak-era. If successful, the likely
outcome of this - particularly in the face of heightened
political mobilization and the unfulfilled expectations of
the Egyptian people - is a society that at a superficial
level takes some limited appearances of the form of liberal
democracy but, in actuality, remains a highly authoritarian
neoliberal state dominated by an alliance of the military
and business elites.

`Accelerating Structural Economic Reforms'

The most important point to note about the aid packages
promised to Egypt is that they do not in any way represent a
break from the logic encapsulated in previous economic
strategies for the region. In a report to the 26-27 May G8
Summit, the IMF clearly summarized this logic, noting that:
"Overcoming high unemployment will require a substantial
increase in the pace of economic growth...Achieving such
growth rates will entail both additional investment and
improved productivity. While some increases in public
investment may be required, for instance to improve the
quality of infrastructure and services in less developed
rural areas, the key role will have to be played by the
private sector, including by attracting foreign direct
investment. Thus, government policies should support an
enabling environment in which the private sector
flourishes."

The core argument expressed in this statement is essentially
the same message that the IMF and World Bank have been
pushing in decades of reports on the Egyptian and Middle
East economies. Egypt's problems stem from the weakness of
the private sector and the `rent-seeking' of state
officials. The solution is to open Egypt's markets to the
outside world, lift restrictions on investment in key
sectors of the economy, liberalize ownership laws, end
subsidies to the poor for food and other necessities, and
increase market competition. By allowing unfettered markets
to operate freely, the private sector will be the key engine
of growth and, through this harnessing of entrepreneurial
initiative, lead to the creation of jobs and prosperity.

Of course these ideas are simply a restatement of the basic
premises of neoliberalism, but it is imperative to
acknowledge their continuity with earlier plans - the
promised aid to Egypt consciously aims at achieving a
specific outcome in line with previous neoliberal strategy.
The concrete policy implications of this were most clearly
spelt out in a flagship World Bank report published in 2009,
From Privilege to Competition: Unlocking Private-Led Growth
in the Middle East and North Africa. The report prescribes
steps to be taken by all governments in the Middle East,
including "(1) opening protected sectors such as retail and
real estate, which have barriers to foreign investors...(2)
reducing tariff bands and nontariff barriers; (3) removing
protection of state-owned firms by enforcing hard budget
constraints and exposing them to open competition; and (4)
eliminating anti-export biases." In order to encourage
foreign investment, governments should eliminate "high
minimum capital requirements and restrictions on foreign
ownership" and, in countries where state-owned banks exist
"engage in open and transparent privatization".

These are the types of policies that we can expect to see in
Egypt as this aid begins to flows - in fact, they are the
essential pre-requisites for the receipt of this financial
support. The mechanisms of this conditionality are discussed
further below, at this stage, it is simply important to note
that there has been an unassailable link established between
aid and the fulfillment of neoliberal reforms. As the
Institute of International Finance (IIF), a policy and lobby
organization that brings together the largest financial
institutions in the world, noted in early May: "As momentous
as the current security and political restructuring
challenges may be, it is absolutely critical that the
transition authorities...place a high priority on deepening
and accelerating structural economic reforms...transition
and subsequent governments must articulate a credible
medium-term reform and stabilization framework...[and] need
to focus on creating the legal and institutional environment
for fostering entrepreneurship, investment, and market-
driven growth." The IIF went on to bluntly identify this
acceleration of structural adjustment as the "context" in
which aid to Egypt would be provided.

`Red Tape' and Institutional Reform

In addition to these standard neoliberal prescriptions, the
other element to the policy logic guiding IFI financial
support concerns institutional reform. This reflects a wider
shift in the developmental strategy of the IFIs since the
1990s, in which more emphasis has been placed on linking the
function of markets with their institutional governance.
Within this context, the World Bank and other institutions
have emphasized notions such as the `rule of law',
`decentralization', `good governance', `separation of the
legislative and executive' and so forth, which supposedly
aim at reducing the rent-seeking capabilities of state
officials and guarantee greater transparency in economic
affairs.[1]

This emphasis on institutional reform partly reflects a
problem of perception faced by the IFIs. The embrace of
issues of `governance' and `democracy' is explicitly
designed to ensure greater legitimacy for neoliberalism,
particularly in the wake of the disastrous decades of 1980s
and 1990s where the open advocacy of structural adjustment
wreaked havoc on much of the South. This policy shift,
however, does not represent a turn away from the logic of
neoliberalism. Rather, it actually serves to reinforce this
logic, by tailoring institutions to the needs of the private
sector and removing any ability of the state to intervene in
the market. In the Middle East, where authoritarian regimes
have been the norm, these calls for institutional reform can
be easily portrayed as democratic (and, indeed, they are
explicitly framed within a discourse of democratization). In
reality they are profoundly anti-democratic. By limiting
democracy to the `political' sphere and expanding the notion
of freedom to include `markets', they obfuscate the
necessary relations of power within the market, and
explicitly block the ability of states to determine the use,
ownership and distribution of their economic resources.
Democratic control of the economy is thus precluded as a
violation of `good governance'.

In the case of Egypt, the discourse of institutional reform
has allowed neoliberal structural adjustment to be presented
not just as a technocratic necessity - but as the actual
fulfillment of the demands innervating the uprisings. In
this sense, neoliberal ideology attempts to reabsorb and
fashion dissent in its own image, through rendering Egypt's
uprisings within a pro-market discourse. This fundamental
message has been repeatedly emphasized by US and European
spokespeople over the last weeks: this was not a revolt
against several decades of neoliberalism - but rather a
movement against an intrusive state that had obstructed the
pursuit of individual self-interest through the market.

Perhaps the starkest example of this discursive shift was
the statement made by World Bank President Robert Zoellick
at the opening of a World Bank meeting on the Middle East in
mid-April. Referring to Mohammed Bouazizi, the young peddler
from a Tunisian market place who set himself on fire and
became the catalyst for the uprising in Tunisia, Zoellick
remarked "the key point I have also been emphasizing and I
emphasized in this speech is that it is not just a question
of money. It is a question of policy...keep in mind, the
late Mr. Bouazizi was basically driven to burn himself alive
because he was harassed with red tape...one starting point
is to quit harassing those people and let them have a chance
to start some small businesses."

In this discursive reframing of the uprisings, the massive
protests that overthrew Mubarak and Ben Ali occurred due to
the absence of capitalism rather than its normal
functioning. In an ideological sense, this reframing
directly confronts the popular aspirations that have arisen
through the course of the struggle in Egypt. The political
demands heard on the streets of Egypt today - to reclaim
wealth that was stolen from the people, offer state support
and services to the poor, nationalize those industries that
were privatized, and place restrictions on foreign
investment - can be either disregarded or portrayed as
`anti-democratic'. Precisely because Egypt's uprising was
one in which the political and economic demands were
inseparable and intertwined, this effort to recast the
struggle as `pro-market' is, in a very real sense, directly
aimed at undercutting and weakening the country's ongoing
mobilizations.

The Mechanisms of Structural Adjustment

This understanding of the basic logic presupposed in the IFI
financial packages allows us to turn to the precise
mechanisms through which structural adjustment is unfolding.
There are two common elements to all the financial support
offered to Egypt to date - an extension of loans (i.e. an
increase in Egypt's external debt) and promised investment
in so-called Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). Both these
elements are tied to Egypt's implementation of structural
adjustment. Strategically, it appears that the initial focus
of this structural adjustment will the privatization of
Egypt's infrastructure and the opening of the economy to
foreign investment and trade through PPPs (these are
discussed below). In addition to the US government, World
Bank and IMF, the other main institutional actor in this
process is the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD).

Debt

Currently Egypt's external debt runs at around US$35 billion
and over the last decade the country has been paying around
US$3 billion a year in debt service. From 2000 to 2009,
Egypt's level of debt increased by around 15%, despite the
fact that the country paid a total of $24.6 billion in debt
repayments over the same period. Egypt's net transfers on
long-term debt between 2000 and 2009, which measures the
total difference between received loans and repayments,
reached $3.4 billion. In other words, contrary to popular
belief, more money actually flows from Egypt to Western
lenders than vice versa. These figures demonstrate the
striking reality of Egypt's financial relationship with the
global economy -Western loans act to extract wealth from
Egypt's poor and redistribute it to the richest banks in
North America and Europe.

Of course, the decision to borrow this money and enter into
this `debt trap' was not made by Egypt's poor. The vast
majority of this debt is public or publicly guaranteed
(around 85%), i.e. debt that was taken on by the Mubarak
government with the open encouragement of the IFIs. Egypt's
ruling elite - centered around Mubarak and his closest
coterie - profited handsomely from these transactions
(estimated in the many billions). This is indicative of the
fact that much of Egypt's debt is what development
economists call `odious debt' - debt that has been built up
by a dictatorial regime without regard to the needs of the
population. Mubarak does not hold sole responsibility for
this process. The World Bank, IMF and many other lenders
continued to encourage this borrowing (and to praise Egypt's
economic direction under Mubarak) precisely because it was
such a profitable enterprise.

This is the essential background context to the discussions
around Egypt's foreign debt. In his 19 May speech, US
President Barack Obama made much of a promise to relieve
Egypt of up to $1 billion in its debt obligations. Obama
described this as the US government's attempt to support
"positive change in the region...through our efforts to
advance economic development for nations that are
transitioning to democracy". In addition to this monetary
support, Obama also promised to urge the World Bank, IMF and
other countries to help "stabilize and modernize" Egypt and
"meet its near-term financial needs."

Putting aside the hubris of this speech, Obama's offer needs
to be understood accurately. Contrary to what has been
widely reported in the media, this was not a forgiveness of
Egypt's debt. It is actually a debt-swap - a promise to
reduce Egypt's debt service by $1 billion, provided that
money is used in a manner in which the US government
approves. This debt-swap confirms the relationship of power
that is inherent to modern finance. The US is able to use
Egypt's indebtedness as a means to compel the country to
adopt the types of economic policies described above. Obama
was very explicit about what this meant - stating that "the
goal must be a model in which protectionism gives way to
openness, the reigns of commerce pass from the few to the
many, and the economy generates jobs for the young.
America's support for democracy will therefore be based on
ensuring financial stability, promoting reform, and
integrating competitive markets with each other and the
global economy."

This same policy language has been clearly articulated
alongside the loans promised to Egypt by the World Bank and
IMF. On 12 May, Caroline Atkinson, Director of the External
Relations Department at the International Monetary Fund
(IMF), announced that the IMF was studying a request from
the Egyptian government for US$3-4 billion of loans and
would "visit Cairo shortly to begin discussions with the
Egyptian authorities on an arrangement." Indicating that
these loans would come with conditions, Atkinson noted that
"the size and scope of Fund support will be defined as
discussions progress." An advisor to Egyptian Finance
Minister Samir Radwan confirmed this, declaring "How the
money will be spent will undergo a process of negotiation."
On 24 May this conditionality was set out following an
announcement by the World Bank and IMF that they would
provide $US4.5 billion to Egypt over two years. Noting that
"reforms were as important as money", World Bank President
Robert Zoellick explicitly linked the initial $1 billion "to
governance and openness reforms with a further $1 billion
available next year dependant on progress."[2] The remaining
US$2.5 billion would be invested in development projects and
private sector loans (see below).

Unless these loans are refused and the existing debt
repudiated, Egypt will find itself in a cul-de-sac from
which there is little chance of escape. Foreign debt is not
a neutral form of `aid' but an exploitative social relation
established between financial institutions in the North and
countries in the South. Trapped in this relationship,
countries become dependent upon a continuous stream of new
loans in order to service previously accumulated long-term
debt. It is a means to deepen the extraction of wealth from
Egypt and - precisely because of the continued dependency on
financial inflows - serves to chain Egypt to further
structural adjustment measures. The Egyptian people are
being punished for an indebtedness that they did not create,
and that punishment consists of being locked into even
greater indebtedness by the institutions that put them there
in the first place.

Foreign Investment and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)

Also in his 19 May speech, Obama pledged $1 billion in
investments through a US institution known as the Overseas
Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). OPIC's mandate is to
support US business investment in so-called emerging
markets; it provides guarantees for loans (particularly in
the case of large projects) or direct loans for projects
that have a significant proportion of US business
involvement and may face political risk. Perhaps emblematic
of OPIC's activities was its first investment in Afghanistan
following soon after the invasion of that country by NATO-
led forces in 2001 - a new Hyatt Hotel in Kabul that would
be used as "a platform for business persons" visiting the
country. OPIC was also a key partner in encouraging the
free-market ideology that underpinned the economic policy of
the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq following
the US-led invasion of 2003.[3] The US government openly
asserts the link between OPIC and US foreign policy
objectives. This is well encapsulated in the organization's
slogan - "support[ing] U.S. investment in emerging markets
worldwide, fostering development & the growth of free
markets".

Because OPIC's investment depends upon reducing barriers to
foreign capital and accelerating the privatization of state-
owned enterprises, its activities are predicated upon, and
help to reinforce, the extension of neoliberal program
described above. In the case of Egypt, this is likely to
take place primarily through the use of US government funds
to establish Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). A PPP is a
means of encouraging the outsourcing of previously state-run
utilities and services to private companies. A private
company provides a service through a contract with the
government - typically, this may include activities such as
running hospitals or schools, or building infrastructure
such as highways or power plants. For this, they receive
payments from the government or through the users of the
service (such as highway tolls). PPPs are thus a form of
privatization, which, in the words of one of their foremost
proponents, Emanuel Savas, is "a useful phrase because it
avoids the inflammatory effect of "privatization" on those
ideologically opposed."[4]

OPIC's intervention in Egypt has been explicitly tied to the
promotion of PPPs. An OPIC press release, for example, that
followed soon after Obama's speech, noted that the $1
billion promised by the US government would be used "to
identify Egyptian government owned enterprises investing in
public-private partnerships in order to promote growth in
mutually agreed-upon sectors of the Egyptian economy."

The focus on PPPs, however, is illustrated even more clearly
in investment promised by another international financial
institution, the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD). The EBRD was established at the time of
the fall of the Soviet Union, with the goal of transitioning
Eastern Europe to a capitalist economy. As the EBRD's
President Thomas Mirow put it in the lead up to the Bank's
discussions on Egypt: "The EBRD was created in 1991 to
promote democracy and market economy, and the historic
developments in Egypt strike a deep chord at this bank."

The EBRD is shaping up to be one of the lead agents of the
neoliberal project in Egypt. On 21 May, EBRD shareholders
agreed to lend up to $3.5 billion to the Middle East, with
Egypt the first country earmarked for receipt of loans in
the first half of 2012. This will be the first time since
its establishment that the EBRD has lent to the Middle East.
Catherine Ashton, the European Union foreign policy chief,
has remarked that the EBRD could provide 1 billion euros
annually to Egypt, which would give the institution an
enormous weight in the Egyptian economy - as a point of
comparison, the total investment value of all PPP projects
in Egypt from 1990-2008 was $16.6 billion.

Anyone who has any illusions about the goals of the EBRD's
investment in Egypt would do well to read carefully the EBRD
2010 Transition Report. The report presents a detailed
assessment of the East European and ex-Soviet Republics,
measuring their progress on a detailed set of indicators.
These indicators are highly revealing: (1) Private sector
share of GDP; (2) Large-scale privatization; (3) Small-scale
privatization; (4) Governance and enterprise restructuring;
(5) Price liberalization; (6) Trade and foreign exchange
system; (7) Competition policy; (8) Banking reform and
interest rate liberalization; (9) Securities markets and
non-bank financial institutions; (10) Overall infrastructure
reform.[5] Only countries that score well on these
indicators are eligible for EBRD loans. A research institute
that tracks the activity of the EBRD, Bank Watch, noted in
2008 that a country cannot achieve top marks in the EBRD
assessment without the implementation of PPPs in the water
and road sectors.

The EBRD intervention thus likely augurs a massive
acceleration of the privatization process in Egypt, most
likely under the extension of PPPs. The current Egyptian
government has given its open consent to this process.
Indeed, at the EBRD Annual General Meeting on 20-21 May
where Egypt was promised funds, a spokesperson of the
Egyptian government remarked: "the current transition
government remains committed to the open market approach,
which Egypt will further pursue at an accelerated rate
following upcoming election." The statement noted "that
public-private partnerships have much potential as an
effective modality for designing and implementing
development projects, particularly in infrastructure and
service sectors (transport, health, etc.). Therefore we will
encourage PPP initiatives." Moreover, fully embracing the
pro-market ideological discourse discussed above, the
Egyptian government promised to relax control over foreign
investments through committing "to overcoming the previous
shortcomings of excessive government centralisation. In
addition, we will build on existing initiatives to achieve a
greater level of decentralisation, especially in terms of
local planning and financial management."

Conclusion

The projects and investments mentioned are above are not the
sole aspects of the IFI-backed neoliberal project in
Egypt.[6] But at the most fundamental level, this financial
aid confirms a conscious intervention by Western governments
into Egypt's revolutionary process. In the very short term,
large infrastructure projects and other economic schemes may
provide some employment creation, housing, educational
training and perhaps the appearance of a return to stability
given the prevailing sense of `crisis'. This investment,
however, is premised upon a profound liberalization of the
Egyptian economy. They will only be undertaken concomitant
with measures such as a deepening privatization (undoubtedly
in the form of PPPs), deregulation (initially likely to be
connected to the opening up of more sectors to foreign
investment), the reduction of trade barriers (connected to
access to US and European markets), and the expansion of the
informal sector (under the banner of cutting `red tape').
They will necessarily involve, furthermore, a rapid
expansion in Egypt's overall indebtedness - tying the
country ever more firmly to future structural adjustment
packages.

If this process is not resisted, it threatens to negate the
achievements of the Egyptian uprising. As the decades of the
Egyptian experience of neoliberalism illustrate all too
clearly, these measures will further deepen poverty,
precarity and an erosion of living standards for the vast
majority. Simultaneously, the financial inflows will help to
strengthen and consolidate Egypt's narrow business and
military elites as the only layer of society that stands to
gain from further liberalization of the economy. The
expansion of PPPs, for example, will provide enormous
opportunities for the largest business groups in the country
to take ownership stakes in major infrastructure projects
and other privatized service provision. Alongside foreign
investors, these groups will gain from the deregulation of
labour markets, liberalization of land and retail
activities, and the potential access to export markets in
the US and Europe.

These measures also have a regional impact. Their other main
beneficiary will be the states of the Gulf Cooperation
Council (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates,
Bahrain, Qatar and Oman) who are playing a highly visible
and complementary role alongside the IFIs. Saudi Arabia has
pledged $4 billion to Egypt - exceeding the amounts promised
by the US and EBRD. The Kuwait Investment Authority
announced in April that it was establishing a US$1 billion
sovereign wealth fund that would invest in Egyptian
companies. Kuwait's Kharafi Group, which had won PPP
contracts in the power sector in Egypt in 2010 and is
estimated to have $7 billion invested in Egypt already,
announced that it was taking out an $80 million loan for
investments in Egypt. Qatar is also reportedly considering
investing up to $10 billion, according to its ambassador in
Egypt.

As with the investments from Western states, these financial
flows from the GCC are dependent upon the further
liberalization of Egypt's economy, most likely through the
mechanisms of PPPs. Indeed, Essam Sharaf, Egypt's interim
prime minister, and Samir Radwan, finance minister, have
both traveled frequently to the GCC states over recent
months with the aim of marketing PPP projects, particularly
in water and wastewater, roads, education, healthcare, and
energy. One indication of the direction of these efforts was
the announcement by the Dubai and Egyptian Stock Exchanges
to allow the dual listing of stocks on their respective
exchanges. This measure will allow privatized companies or
investment vehicles to be jointly listed on both exchanges,
thus facilitating the increased flows of GCC capital into
Egypt.

In essence, the financial initiatives announced over recent
weeks represent an attempt to bind social layers such as
these - Egypt's military and business elites, the ruling
families and large conglomerates of the GCC, and so forth -
ever more tightly to the Western states. The revolutionary
process in Egypt represented an attack against these
elements of the Arab world. The uprising cannot be reduced
to a question of `democratic transition' -precisely because
the political form of the Egyptian state under Mubarak was a
direct reflection of the nature of capitalism in the
country, the uprising implicitly involved a challenge to the
position of these elites. The inspiring mobilizations that
continue on the Egyptian streets confirm that these
aspirations remain firmly held. Western financial aid needs
to be understood as an intervention in this ongoing struggle
- an attempt to utilize the sense of `economic crisis' to
refashion Egyptian society against the interests of Egypt's
majority, and divert the revolution from the goals it has
yet to achieve.

[Sources}

[1] For a detailed critique of these notions, see The New
Development Economics: After the Washington Consensus,
edited by Jomo. K.S and Ben Fine, Zed Books. 2006.

[2] This clear message of conditionality makes a mockery of
the claim by Egyptian Finance Minister, Samir Radwan, that:
"We have an Egyptian programme...I am not accepting any
conditionality - none whatsoever."

[3] A fundamental part of this process - likely to be
replicated in the case of Egypt - was a focus on encouraging
Iraqi business to become increasingly dependent upon US-
owned finance capital through the support of US bank and
finance lending to small and medium-enterprises in the
country.

[4] Privatization in the City, Emanuel Savas, CQ Press,
Washington DC, 2005 p.16.

[5] Belarus, for example, was rewarded for its "removal of
price and trade restrictions on many goods and reduction of
list of minimum export price" by a rise in its price
liberalization indicator from 3 to 3+. Likewise, Montenegro
received the same increase for privatizing parts of its
power and port sectors.

[6] For example, another important vehicle is The Arab
Financing Facility for Infrastructure (AFFI), established by
the World Bank, International Finance Corporation and the
Islamic Development Bank earlier this year to promote
investment in the Middle East region. The AFFI aims to raise
$1 billion and will focus on infrastructure, explicitly
around PPPs. The AFFI focuses on regional integration
projects, and is thereby being used to promote the reduction
of trade and tariffs within the region. It is as yet unclear
what the AFFI involvement with Egypt will be, but it has
been highlighted by the World Bank as a major component of
its future activities in the country.

[Adam Hanieh is a lecturer in the Development Studies
Department of the School of Oriental and African Studies
(SOAS), University of London. He is author of the
forthcoming book, Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab
States (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).]

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