The report shares recent figures and insights regarding the status of economic integration among countries within the Arab world
JEDDAH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 10 May 2023 - The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group has launched the “IsDB Group Integration Report for Arab Region” during the 2023 Annual Meetings taking place from 10- 13 May in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the patronage of The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
The IsDB Group Integration Report for Arab Region comprehensively tracks the progress of enhancing economic integration within the Arab world.
The report has been developed to provide a framework for IsDB Group to achieve its core objectives which include boosting trade among Member Countries, promoting growth, increasing bilateral investment and improving the livelihoods of the people based on the principles of solidarity and common interest.
The report’s launch was preceded by a keynote speech from His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Al-Jasser, Chairman of the Islamic Development Bank Group.
“For almost half a century, IsDB Group has made great efforts to support intra-regional trade and investment in member countries,” stated Al-Jasser.
“Studies have indicated that the cost of conducting trade between the Middle East and North African countries is twice as high as those in the European Union which indicates the necessity of measuring and improving economic integration within the Arab Region. IsDB continues to work to strengthen cooperation among regional institutions, facilitate the activation of multilateral agreements, and provide financing facilities to support projects which connect countries,” the IsDB president added.
Following the screening of a video detailing the report and its findings, IsDB hosted a panel discussion sharing the status of economic integration amongst countries in the Arab region. Moderated by Ms. Maha Akeel, the panel discussion on “The Status and Prospects of Arab Economic Integration” saw participation from Dr. AbdulHakim Elwaer, Assistant Director General at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); Dr. Bahgat Abu El Nasr, Director of the Arab Economic Integration Department at the League of Arab States; Ms. Lilia Hachem Naas, Chief Office for Middle East and North Africa at the International, and Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, Acting Director General of the IsDB Institute & IsDB Group Chief Economist.
The high-level session detailed how multinational organizations in both the public and private sectors can activate the report’s recommendations, highlighting the position of IsDB Group as an advocate for regional cooperation and its role in helping mitigate global challenges.
The report’s findings have been prepared in line with the “IsDB Integration Index”, an extensive statistical index developed in 2022 sectioned into five distinct segments, namely, trade and investment integration, financial markets integration, production networks, connectivity and logistics and human mobility and institutional integration. Based on the 22 indicators outlined in the index, the first “IsDB Group Integration Report” was finalized and launched in November 2022.