Arab Economic Summit opens in Riyadh
The third Arab Economic and Social Development Summit kicks off in Riyadh on Monday aiming to boost economic integration and tackle people’s aspirations amid the Arab world’s turbulent political changes.
“Our meeting should not be mired in routine,” Prince Saud al-Faisal said at a meeting Saturday to prepare for the summit.
“The Arab world has faced these past two years upheavals of a political dimension... but we cannot ignore their economic dimension,” he added.
The minister stressed that the two-day summit must tackle “the problems and issues that concern the lives of our people. We must meet the aspirations of the people.”
A number of Arab presidents and ministers arrived to Riyadh on Sunday and Monday to attend the summit.
Poverty, unemployment and social inequalities were among the causes that triggered a Tunisian uprising in late 2010 that later spread to Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria.
Experts have warned the Arab world risks losing the fragile gains made by the uprisings, which brought to an end decades of iron-fisted rule by leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.
A recent economic report noted that unemployment in 2011 stood at 16 percent in Arab countries where 17 million people out of 300 million are jobless.
At the same time inter-Arab investments stood at a mere 25 billion dollars across the region