(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said economic development is the gateway to stability and prosperity .
"Our region is full of untapped opportunities," Shaikh Mohammed tweeted on Tuesday.
"I spent two days in Riyadh during my participation in the third Arab Economic Summit, which was very well-organised with a comprehensive agenda," he said.
"The weather was beautiful.. I also enjoyed a tour of the markets of Riyadh.. and met some Saudi citizens," he noted. He said: "In the summit we stressed that economic development is the gateway to stability and prosperity . Our region is full of untapped opportunities".
"I thank King Abdullah & Prince Salman for hosting this important Arab summit. The kingdom has always aimed to unite and develop the Arab world," he added.
Meanwhile, Arab leaders pledged to remove obstacles to finalising a free trade zone this year and agreed to facilitate capital flows, as they wrapped up an economic summit on Tuesday.
"We stress our determination to complete all the prerequisites of (forming) the free trade area before the end of this year," Arab League chief Nabil Al Arabi said.
The leaders, he added, were determined to clear obstacles to "achieve the Arab customs union fully by 2015." Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Al Assaf said officials working to facilitate a customs union were struggling to sort out rules on the origin of goods. - With inputs from AFP
"We still have problems with the issue of country of origin... in order to establish which goods are from Arab countries and the percentage of foreign components," he told reporters.
The regulations of the customs union stipulate that exempted goods should have at least 40 per cent local components.
Meanwhile, Arab leaders agreed amendments proposed to strengthen the flow of capital and investments between countries, Arabi said.
The Arab League leader's assistant for economic affairs, Mohammed Al Tuwaijri, had described investment laws in Arab countries as a "repellent for investments".
He also highlighted "significant deficiencies" in the 1980 common agreement over capital movement.
Foreign direct investment inflow dropped from 68.7 billion in 2010 to 43 billion in 2011, a year that saw a wave of Arab Spring uprisings hitting several Arab nations.