Riyadh, Jan 19: In preparation for the third Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, to be held in Riyadh on Monday, a ministerial panel met here yesterday to follow up on decisions adopted at the previous two summits in Kuwait and Sharm El-Sheikh.
The first Arab Economic and Social Development Summit was held in Kuwait in 2009 and the second in Sharm el-Sheikh in 2011.
The meeting held yesterday at the Ritz Carlton Hotel here had panelists from Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt and Morocco.
The meeting was followed by a detailed discussion by senior officials from the respective governments to finalize the agenda for the summit which will be attended by Arab leaders.
As a preamble to the summit, a meeting of finance and foreign ministers of the Arab states would take place today in Riyadh. Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Kamil Amr and Arab League Secretary-General Nabil El-Araby are slated to address the meeting .
The summit, which is to take place on Monday and Tuesday at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh, will focus on the topics of interest recommended by the previous summits.
They are pan-Arab investments, unified agreement to invest in Arab capitals internally, Arab strategy to develop uses of renewable energy from 2010 to 2030, development goals for 2015, fighting noncommunicable diseases (NCD) and the establishment of a youth forum in Arab states.
The meeting will also take up the recommendation made at the Arab Private Sector Forum,which concluded last week in the capital.
Among the other noncommunicable diseases (NCD) in the Arab world, diabetes will be the highlight of the discussions. Emphasis will be laid on helping Arab youth establish small and medium sized industries and introducing vocational guidance and training opportunities for youths as they pass out from their educational institutions.
According to the Saudi Foreign Ministry, 21 Arab countries have confirmed their participation. King Abdallah of Jordan will participate in the summit,according to a statement from Jordan's royal court which said the king would visit Riyadh on an an invitation from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. Several Arab leaders including Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi will also participate in the summit.
The conference is held under the umbrella of the Arab League “to develop joint Arab efforts and to support developmental issues in economic and social fields which were neglected due to the intense focus on political issues and crises.
This summit is also an extension of joint Arab work on developing social and economic fields as well as enhancing and improving means of cooperation between Arab countries.
The summit would aim at providing additional contributions to the Arab economic and social cooperation in a broader range for Arab projects by creating an economic base for supporting Arab countries' economies and strengthening the Arab political systems ,thereby enhancing its role as a consistent group at regional and international levels.
A number of ministers arrived in Riyadh yesterday to take part in the preparatory meeting for the summit.
They include Vice President in charge of the Ministry of Finance and Budget, Foreign Trade, Privatization and Economy of the Comoros Mohammed Ali Saleh, Minister of Commerce and Industry of Djibouti Abdi Almi Ashkar, Minister of Commerce and Handicraft of Tunisia Basheer Al-Zaafoori, Somalia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mohammed Noor Jaal and Minister of Finance and Planning Mahmoud Hasan Suleiman, Yemeni Minister of Commerce and Industry Saad Al-Deen Taleb, Sudan's Minister of Finance and National Economy Ali Mohammed Abdul-Rasool and Arab League Secretary-General Nabil El-Araby.
Saudi Arabia's membership to the G20, which consists of the world's most powerful economies, has played a pivotal role in further boosting the world economy as the economy of the only Arab country in the group was based on firm economic and industrial pillars. The success of King Abdullah in steering the economic policy of the Kingdom has also played a big role in making the Kingdom an influential driving force for world economy and a secure haven for investors from all over the world.
After having been invited to join the G20 club, the Kingdom took part in all G20 summit meetings held in Washington in 2008, London in 2009, Toronto, Canada in 2010 and November 2010, and Seoul, Korea in 2011.
In the Washington summit, the king noted that the default in the controlling process in the financial system led to the spread of the financial crisis to the rest of the world, calling for tightening control of the International Monetary Fund.
He also reassured world leaders that Saudi Arabia would continue with its oil policy to maintain the crude oil flow and keep its prices at reasonable level.