HE Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs
HE Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs headed the UAE’s delegation in its participation in the G8 and Turkey Finance Ministers Meeting held in Marseille, France from 10-11 September, 2011. The UAE’s delegation included HE Younis Haji Al Khouri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), and HE Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Assistant Undersecretary of International Financial Relations Sector at MoF.
During the meeting, the ministers of finance discussed the Deauville Partnership final statement, which was approved following talks by deputy finance ministers, including a delegation from the UAE, and were held on September 9, 2011. Headed by the Undersecretary of MoF, the UAE’s participants contributed in adding a number of amendments to the final statement which aimed at highlighting the role of Arab states in supporting economic and financial reform policies, and enhancing Arab and regional integration by activating the Greater Arab Free Trade Area and implementing decisions regarding the establishment of the Arab Customs Union in 2015.
The G8 ministers of finance all agreed on the Deauville Partnership final statement, which indicated that a sum of USD 38 billion would be collected from international and regional organizations, including Arab partner states, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morroco, and Tunisia. A number of prominent Arab organizations have also been included in the initiative, such as the Arab Monetary Fund, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, The OPEC Fund for International Development.
The UAE Initiative was another prominent topic highlighted at the meeting, where HE Al Tayer, in his capacity as President of the Council of Arab Ministers of Finance, elaborated on the initiative, which was previously presented during the council’s exceptional meeting in Abu Dhabi, on September 7, 2011. HE explained that the UAE Initiative highlighted the following:
Analyzed the effects of the global economic crisis on Arab states
Addressed challenges present in the Arab region
Presented methods of increasing trade
Stressed the importance of ensuring strong, sustainable and balanced growth
Highlighted the importance of increasing cooperation efforts and partnerships with international and regional development funds and donor countries.
The UAE suggested a new economic agenda, following a detailed analysis of the effects of the financial crisis and future expectations for Arab states. The agenda is based on the following points:
Comprehensive financial policy for stability
Enhancing and developing investments and creating new job opportunities
The fluctuating prices of food and water security
Increasing the Arab states’ ability to compete with global economies in addition to developing electronic clearing systems.
HE explained that these points address both short and medium term economic expectations, risks, political issues, challenges and key reforms. They also highlight the necessary financial framework reforms to support growth and social integration, improve job opportunities and economic competitiveness, and create a stable economic environment. This initiative also addresses the high unemployment rates present in the region.
HE indicated that the Ministers of Finance commended the UAE’s initiative and considered it to be a roadmap for Arab development. They also asked the Arab Monetary Fund to prepare comprehensive documentation, in partnership with other regional financial institutions, to be presented at the next Ministers of Finance meeting at Marrakesh in April 2012. The Council of Arab Ministers of Finance also praised the Deauville Partnership to support reforms in Arab states, and encouraged the international community to support this initiative.
On the sidelines of the G8 Meeting, HE Al Tayer met with the French Minister of Finance were they discussed relations between both countries, and methods of enhancing them in all domains, including cultural and financial cooperation. They also discussed topics pertaining to the G20 meeting to be held in 2012 in Mexico.