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By Carol Matlack and Tiffany Stecker
Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya—North African countries known collectively as the Maghreb—are becoming magnets for foreign investment. Until recently, multinationals looked mainly eastward when they wanted to set up low-cost manufacturing and other offshore operations on Europe's doorstep. This has led to billions of dollars in investment in former Soviet bloc countries such as Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria. But as wages have risen across Eastern Europe, the action is shifting to the Maghreb. From aerospace and auto factories to corporate call centers, this historically poor and isolated region is increasingly being drawn into the global economy.
Yet while their appeal to potential investors may be similar, Eastern Europe and the Maghreb are starkly different, economically and socially. Click on for a look at key indicators in the two regions.