Summit might compensate for Arabs Economic 'failure,' says Egypt minister

Ahram online, Sunday 16 Jan 2011

This week's Arab Economic summit in Sharm El-Sheikh is seen by the Egyptian trade minister as a chance for Arab governments to deliver

"The summit provides a rare opportunity to achieve Arab economic integration after “our failure” over the past sixty years," says Rachid Mohamed Rachid, minister of trade and industry and acting minister of investment.

“We have to take the summit this year as a real opportunity to speed up the process of achieving economic integration, something that we’ve failed to achieve over the past 60 years in a way that really meets the aspirations of Arab citizens," he added in a press release ahead of the preparatory meeting beginning today in Sharm El-Sheikh where the 2nd Arab Economic Summit will take place on January 19.

The first Summit was held in Kuwait in 2009 and was critisized for not delivering on its aims.

The statement holds special significance days after the Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown by his people over unemployment and economic failure rage.

“Political issues have been always overriding the economy in the joint Arab action, with Arab governments unwilling to give up some of its local authorities related to economic procedures, for the sake of stronger collective Arab economic action,” Rachid added.

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