The Arab economic summit hosted by Kuwait, from January 19-20, will be an important launch and turning point in the history of the region, said UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
Speaking to Kuwait New Agency (Kuna) yesterday, he said the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit will succeed in finding the driving power needed to support inter-Arab economic relations and to achieve integration and co-operation in all economic fields.
Sheikh Nahyan praised the Kuwait political leadership's keenness to make the summit a success as well as a strong means to push forward economic co-operation and integration in the region and to encourage all joint economic projects there.
He expressed hope the summit will focus on ways to achieve economic integration among Arab countries, including the encouragement of investment, trade exchange, movement of individuals, water and food issues, raising living conditions, the population growth and the accompanying rise in unemployment levels.
He expected the summit to discuss the impact of the global financial crisis on Arab countries; measures needed to preserve Arab economic interests in the world; encouragement of investments in fields of education and scientific research; and expansion of industry, transport, energy and modern technology investments, including the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Sheikh Nahyan said the most significant difficulties in the way of Arab economic integration are represented in the slow economic reforms in the Arab region, the need for an environment that encourages trade exchange and attracts investments, absence of wise policies and mechanisms as well as sufficient information on all aspects of economic activity and which allows decision making on sound bases.
Sheikh Nahyan sought focus on economic reforms; work to achieve high rates of economic growth; support for the role of the private sector in development; diversification of sources of income; treatment of poverty and unemployment issues and encouraging education and scientific research.
He said laying out a successful road map to implement summit resolutions should start with the identification of all issues affecting the establishment of the common market, followed by a study and analysis of the existing situation and the crystalisation of obstacles and problems that should be encountered. The role of governments and various sectors of the society should be defined in the study, said Sheikh Nahyan.
He said to achieve the objectives of the Arab region requires active and balanced policies to attain all-out development in Arab countries and to reactivate levels of inter-Arab economic co-operation and integration.