Keywords: corruption, trade logistics, Middle East, North Africa, Arab Spring, transparency, MENA, customs efficiency, infrastructure, ease of shipment, competence, service quality, consignment tracking, consignment frequency
Uncovering the relationship between the degree of transparency and the level of trade logistics in the Middle East and North Africa
The paper examines whether countries in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) that exhibit higher degrees of transparency also exhibit better trade logistics. The paper divides the MENA region (19 countries) into two groups, high transparency and low transparency, according to the Corruptions Perceptions Index published by Transparency International. The trade logistics for each of these groups is then evaluated according to six factors: customs efficiency, the infrastructure, ease of shipments, competence and quality of services, ability to follow up and track consignments, and frequency of consignments arriving on time. The results indicate that countries with higher transparency also exhibit better statistically significant performance in four factors: customs efficiency, the infrastructure, ease of shipments, and frequency of consignments arriving on time. The paper highlights the importance of fighting corruption and improving transparency as a correlated dimension to improving trade logistics. In other words, investments aimed at improving trade logistics will yield better returns if they were accompanied by more efforts in fighting corruption.