Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Technology Imports : The Tunisia -European Union Free Trade Agreement

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Fatma MRAD, Barzan ABIDI2


This paper investigates the effects of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and Tunisia on stimulating exchanges between them, highlighting the effect of the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs). Using data for Tunisia and 28 EU countries over the period 1991-2014, we estimate the effects of IPRs protection on Tunisian’s imports at the aggregate level and high-tech product categories. The results suggest that the UE –Tunisia FTA and the associated reforms in IPRs will boost Tunisia's imports. Moreover, strengthening IPRs protection in Tunisia contributes to increasing its imports of pharmaceutical products, electrical and electronic equipment, and optical and medical apparatus.

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