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MENAFN - Arab Times - 22/03/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab Times) The Arab world of economy is keenly hoping the upcoming 25th Arab summit due here on March 25-26 would come out with tangible outcomes as the Arab region has been going through harsh conditions. The Arab states were among the first countries which sought to achieve economic integration since the establishment of the Arab League in 1945

The last three decades had seen emergence of a number of regional groupings in Europe and Asia, the Americas and Africa. The largest and most prominent models of economic integration in the world is witnessed by the continent of Europe through the unification of economic policies among several countries, in addition to the partial or complete abolition of customs restrictions and non-tariff barriers to trade

Economic integration among Arab countries remains in the process of developing agreements, and it is not a secret that the Arab economic integration faced many political difficulties with the outbreak of the "Arab Spring" in spite of expectations predicting that such Arab shifts could contribute to the creation of an economic integration doomed to success. The outbreak of the Arab revolutions was associated with deteriorating economic conditions in the countries of the Arab Spring to the extent where the economic growth rate in Egypt reached 1.21 percent in 2011 compared to 5. 14 percent in 2010


The growth rate in Tunisia froze at 0.7 percent, while the Syrian economy shrank pushing the growth rate to slip to 2.02 percent, whereas the growth rate of the Yemeni economy dipped to 2.42 percent and the decline in rates is still ongoing. The aim of the Arab economic summits was to promote the economy of the Arab world through projects of operation, education, health and activation of economic integration to complete a free trade zone up to the stage of the Customs Union in 2015. Dr Faisal Al-Munawer, Professor of Political Economy at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that he hopes the upcoming summit would lay the foundations for the implementation of the Arab economic integration. He added that the economic integration should be seen as a necessity strategy for Arab countries to achieve stability and sustainable development with its various dimensions

He pointed out that the political dimension is always overshadowed by the economic dimension in the Arab summits, in addition to a lack of strategic vision, unlike the experience of the European countries, saying that the experience of the European economic integration started from the existence of a longterm strategic vision. For his part, Dr Ahmed Mohammed Nadi, Professor of political science and economic development at the Institute of Asian Studies and Research at the University of Cairo told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that the concept of economic integration must be defined right. Nadi added that economic integration means the process of mutual adopting between the economics of a group of countries fall within the framework of a geographical, political or social framework of varying degrees and on specific basis


Arab Times

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