A joint meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank will be held in Dubai in 2003, reported the Khaleej Times on Wednesday.
The paper said the meeting “will give a big boost to the UAE, which will be the first Arab country to host such a prestigious event,” quoting Jassim Al Manai, director general of the Arab Monetary Fund.
Manai said the total debt of Arab countries stood at $157 billion, calling the figure a major obstacle.
At the same time, he added, there were huge Arab investments and deposits in foreign countries. The idea of the Arab common market, he said, had been launched during the second half of the 20th century.
But, he said, it faced the problem of fundamental differences in the nature of Arab economies, some based on "ideologies" and others on "free market policies."
In addition, he said, no practical measures were taken to achieve this objective.
He pointed out that the Arab World was still in the first phase of reaching the objective, which is the establishment of a pan-Arab free trade zone.
However, he said, over the past few years Arab countries had taken some concrete measures to achieve the goal – Albawaba.com