First ever Arab economic summit will tackle poverty, unemployment, deterioration of living conditions on January.
KUWAIT CITY – The first ever Arab economic summit, to be hosted by Kuwait in January, will focus on worsening poverty and unemployment in the Arab world, and boosting inter-Arab trade, a minister said on Thursday.

“The summit will tackle the aggravation of poverty and unemployment and the deterioration of living conditions in the Arab world, besides boosting modest trade,” Kuwaiti Finance Minister Mustafa al-Shamali said.

The summit will also discuss investments, infrastructure projects and the issue of reforms, Shamali told the official KUNA news agency after chairing a preparatory meeting at Arab League headquarters in Cairo.

A large number of Arab leaders are expected to attend the January 19-20 summit. The meeting in oil-rich Kuwait will be the first by heads of state of the 22-member Arab League to focus only on economic issues.

Economic reports have said that Arab countries need to create more than 80 million jobs by 2020 and the number of Arab jobless is put at around 60 million.

The reports also expect the Arab population, which currently stands at around 300 million, to double in 30 years.

Arab countries kicked off a free trade zone at the beginning of 2004, but it has had little success in boosting inter-Arab trade.

Shamali also said that committees preparing for the summit will select a number of economic projects to be discussed at the meeting out of some 300 that have been received so far by the Arab League.

Arab leaders are also due to discuss water and food security as well as the environment.

Arab economic summit to focus on poverty
August 29, 2008 10:31 am admin2 World News, General