AMF warns against debt
The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) has warned against the rising external debt in the majority of Arab countries after external debt rose to its highest level to $156.5 billion (Dh572.5bn) in 2008, an increase of $3.5bn compared to 2007.
The AMF organised a two-week workshop in Abu Dhabi under the title "Points of Weakness of External Balances" with the participation of experts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and 36 economists from 20 Arab countries.
The workshop aims to define the weaknesses in the external debt of Arab countries, foreign reserves management and management of foreign aid inflows.
It discussed important issues such as the IMF's role in the international financial crisis, reforms in the financial sectors of Arab economies, management and analysis of external debts and analysis of international currencies, capital account crises and payment balances in Arab countries.
Participants in the workshop blamed the rise in Arab external debt to the change in the exchange rates of the main currencies against the dollar and rising price of oil and foodstuff, especially in 2008. The IMF said there are 13 borrower countries in the Arab World: Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Djibouti, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Oman, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania and Yemen. Egypt came first among Arab nations in terms of external debts, with the figure reaching $32.8bn.
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