Abdel Monem Said Aly

Abdel Monem Said Aly

Chairman of the Board of Al Masry Al Youm Publishing House in Cairo and a Senior Fellow at the Crown Center.


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The Return of Geo-Economics and the Emergence of Co-Prosperity Zones in the Middle East


Abdel Monem Said Aly
Middle East Brief 124, December 2018


In the Middle East, the nation-state is back. After a period of relative decline caused by the “Arab Spring,” states in the region have strengthened relative to non-state actors. Consequently, geo-politics—and, specifically, geo-economics—have returned as the basis for inter-state interactions. In this Brief, Abdel Monem Said Aly examines two nascent zones of economic cooperation and possible mutual prosperity. On the islands and coasts of the Red Sea, Egyptian development plans and Saudi Arabia’s ambitious “Vision 2030” complement and reinforce one another. In the Eastern Mediterranean, ongoing gas discoveries and progress in maritime border demarcation agreements between Egypt and Cyprus could usher in a period of stability and prosperity that extends to Israel and other Mediterranean countries. Said Aly analyzes the opportunities presented by these two zones, as well as important challenges to the realization of their potential.

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