Arab Forum Calls for Unified Policy to Tackle Financial Crisis

DUBAI - Arab Investment Forum 2009 that ended on Wednesday called for unified policy responses to tackle the challenges posed by the global financial crisis.

By Issac John

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Published: Sat 28 Mar 2009, 12:19 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:45 AM

Participants of the two-day forum, AIF 2009, urged Arab governments to emphasise the role of the private sector in the next stages of development. “Private sector role is crucial in overcoming the crisis,” said the forum, which lined up prominent economists including Dr Salim El Hoss, former prime minister of Lebanon and professor of Economics at the American University of Beirut, and Adnan Kassar, President of General Union of Chambers of Commerce for Arab Countries.

Kassar said Arab investment were in need of real management. “The restructuring of sectors within companies that absorb opportunities of new global investment climate is also a critical factor for progress.”

Action for the next phase of the crisis will require seizing rare business opportunities and working them out in accordance with the modern economic climate, which should not be dependant on the element of risk, he pointed out. “On the other hand, reliance should be put on reasonable and positive incomes which are realisable according to the strength of the market. This will be in sharp contract to the unstudied expansion based on unjustified forecast that was the case before the crisis. It ruined many investors in the market and led the collapse of the financial institutions at the global level.”

Speakers at the event called for speeding up the process towards an Arab common market through the direct support of business and economic organisations in Arab countries.

Participants felt there was an urgent need to encourage inter-Arab investments and raise its volume by overcoming the difficulties and economic obstacles faced by some Arab countries in this regard and activating the role of chambers of commerce and semi-governmental bodies toward this end.

Speakers at the forum also proposed periodic and regular meetings of the Arab economic and business groups through the chambers of commerce to promote cross-border investments in Arab countries. It also recommended steps to encourage all forms of agricultural investments in Arab countries and to create awareness about the real investment opportunities available to Arab investors. Speakers also called for increased coordination between the public and private sectors to overcome the global financial crisis.


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