Economic integration the biggest takeaway from Arab summit
Arab leaders met in Riyadh last month at the third annual Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, where the main topic was economic integration among the Arab nations, or a lack thereof.
Arab League chief, Nabil Al Arabi was quoted by a news website as saying, “we stress our determination to complete all the prerequisites of forming the free trade area before the end of this year,” and added that Arab leaders would work towards achieving an Arab customs union fully by 2015.
Amendments to promote the flow of investment and capital within the region were also discussed at the summit. Compared to other areas, the Middle East North Africa as a region is much less globally integrated, with regional trade accounting for only 10 percent of total trade during 2010, according to the World Bank.