AMMAN – Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf met with representatives of Arab economic institutions and lending companies at the Finance Summit in Jordan on April 15. He stressed the need for regional cooperation in dealing with the impact of the world financial crisis on Arab economies.
Arab Ministers of Finance, central bank directors, and leaders of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development headquartered in Kuwait, the Arab Monetary Fund headquartered in Abu Dhabi and the Arab Investment Institute gathered on the shores of the Dead Sea to deal with their growing concerns about the effects of the international financial downturn on the Arab world.
Al-Assaf afterwards told journalists, “We were urged to take appropriate steps to support the capacity of our financial institutions and to improve monitoring of our financial sectors.”
The Jordanian Prime Minister's chargé d'affaires and Minister of the Interior Nayif Qathi who spoke at the Summit after his Saudi counterpart called for a comprehensive review of economic strategies and plans in the Arab world to deal with the crisis. A number of summit participants responded with their thoughts on strategies to lessen its impact on the Middle East.
Director General of the Arab Monetary Fund Jassim Munaii, however, told journalists, “Financial indicators show that the impact of the crisis on the Arab world has been limited. The worst is over, and we are seeing a revival.”
Al-Assaf stressed to the other ministers present that, regardless of the actual impact of the financial crisis on Arab institutions, regional leaders need to encourage more economic harmonisation and trade cooperation among them to be prepared for the future.
He added that Saudi Arabia would coordinate with other Arab states to improve the performance of joint Arab institutions by adopting strategies aimed at bolstering their security and strengthening their financial centres.
Sources: Arab News newspaper / Jordan Times newspaper