EconSource: Tunisia Trade Deficit Widens in 2014
According to recent statistics published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS), Tunisia’s trade deficit widened further in 2014, reaching a worrying level of 13,635.9 million Tunisian dinars. This deficit, 26.7 percent of which come from the energy balance deficit, was translated into a 2.5 percent drop in the coverage of imports by exports. Tunisia’s trade showed deficit in particular comparison with China, Russia, Italy and Spain.

[Zawya, 1/14/2015]

Moroccan economy to grow 4.6 percent in 2015

A new World Bank report forecasts an average growth of 4.6 percent for Morocco in 2015. The report further elaborated that Morocco’s nonagricultural output remained flexible, adding that it was driven by private consumption and a surge in exports of manufactured goods and phosphates. Overall, Morocco has been able to make progress despite political opposition to increasing prices of basic goods and services. [Morocco World News, 1/15/2015]

Jordan, Saudi Arabia sign deal to boost cooperation in labor

The Jordanian Minister of Labor, Tourism, and Antiquities and his Saudi counterpart signed a memorandum of understanding between Jordan and Saudi Arabia concerning the country’s cooperation in labor affairs. The memo, among others, seeks to strengthen cooperation between the two countries by unifying recruitment procedures, exchanging expertise, and training programs for the better resolution of labor disputes. [Zawya, 1/15/2015]

Iraq plans to boost southern oil exports to record high

According to trade sources, Iraq plans to boost monthly crude oil exports from its southern ports to a record high level in February. The Iraqi State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) has allocated 3.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of Basra crude to be shipped out in February, up from 2.7 million bpd in January. While it remains to be seen if SOMO can meet its target  for February, new infrastructure at Iraq’s southern Basra ports has been able to shorten waiting time for tankers to about two days, an improvement over the previous one to two weeks waiting time. [Reuters, 1/15/2015]

Also of Interest:
IMF advances dialogue with Mideast parliamentarians | IMF
Growth expected to pick up gradually in MENA region in 2015 | TAP (subscription)
OMV aims to boost Yemen output if conditions allow | Reuters
World Bank underscores Egypt’s Economic Summit | The Cairo Post
Two memoranda of understanding between Morocco and IDB for capacity building | Zawya