Adonis Diaries

Free-Trade Zones in the Middle East: For when?

Posted on: December 2, 2008

Are Free-Trade Zones in the Middle East being worked out? (December 1, 2008)

I like to envision the creations of 11 free-trade zones in the Middle East, among the States of Turkey, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Cyprus.  Why free-trade zones?

Most of the recognized States by the United Nations in the Middle East were not naturally and normally constituted, and the borders are artificially delimited: The States  were divided up by the mandatory European nations of Britain, France and the active participation of the USA, after the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire lost the war in the WWI by siding with Germany.

Consequently, there are many ethnic, emotional, economic, linguistic, and historical intermingling and rivalries among these States.  Since military confrontations are out of the question, and since daily trade and social relations are binding certain bordering zones then, creative alternatives should be studied to form viable trade zones that otherwise would be left unmanaged and precariously volatile.

First, between the States of Turkey and Syria there are many legitimate claims that should be resolved on their borders.  There is the possibility of several free-trade zones such as (Cilicia, Iskandaron, and Lazkieh (Latakieh)) and the Kurdish common zone of Hassakeh and Diar Baker and Van.

Second, between Turkey and Iraq there is an ideal free-trade zone in their common Kurdish region around Mosul.

Third, between Iraq and Iran two zones can be contemplated (the common Kurdish region, and the region around the Persian/Arabic Gulf).

Fourth, between Iraq, Iran, and Kuwait the Basra region could alleviate recurring conflicts.

Fifth, between Iraq, Syria, and Jordan, where their frontiers intersect artificially, a free-trade zone would encourage commerce in that desolate area.

Sixth, between Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon there are shared bordered around the Golan Heights.

Seventh, between Syria and Lebanon there are potential two zones (the northern Lebanese frontiers of Akkar, and the south-eastern Bekaa Valley with Shebaa Farms).

Eight, between Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Cyprus a free-trade zone in Cyprus would iron out differences and encourage maritime commerce.

What are the processes for initiating these free-trade zones?

After a period of three years of ironing out details and instituting regulations with special passports or identity cards for the inhabitants of the zones, then all the zones between two states can be merged.

It is only normal that contiguous zones common to three States could eventually be merged and a belt of uninterrupted contiguous zones would form the natural borders of the Middle East.

As was done in Europe, let commerce and industry form the basis for these zones, which should generate rational cooperative decisions for our future.

The concept of a free-zone is to creating a magnate cities, self-autonomous city, with laws and regulations agreed upon among the States.

Ultimately, an economic union could emerge, based on a set of procedures and processes that works, which form a firm ground to negotiating common interests, and disseminating common laws and regulations valid in the various lands.

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adonis49

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