17th Arab Businessmen Forum begins in Beirut

Beirut, April 17 (Petra)- The 17th edition of the Arab Businessmen Forum, dubbed “Challenges of Arab Future,” kicked off in Beirut on Wednesday with the participation of a delegation of Jordanian business community, headed by President of the Jordanian Businessmen Association (JBA) and the Federation of Arab Businessmen (FAB) Hamdi Tabbaa.

Addressing the opening session, Tabaa said: “The Arab world is currently undergoing an important and pivotal phase, accompanied by a series of changes aimed at recovering from the Arab Spring crisis, which has negatively affected the various economic, social and political levels, and triggered difficult economic and political conditions”.

He noted the developments in the Arab region and foreign factors contributed to the high rate of unemployment in the Arab countries during the previous two years.

In 2017, the Arab countries ranked among the top ten regions in the world in terms of unemployment rates, he announced, adding: “The Arab countries are the only region in the world where joblessness rate among young people is about 30 percent, coupled with continued high inflation rates in the previous years”.

“Today we seek through the forum to strengthen cooperation in the reconstruction of the Arab economies that have been adversely affected, and to identify the challenges to increase and improve investment at the Arab level by stimulating and activating the volume of Arab trade and focusing on spurring investment through enhancing Arab cooperation in the promising economic sectors and areas of common interest,” he told the participants.

Tabaa called for intensifying efforts towards achieving Arab economic integration through establishing blocs based on the resources of the various Arab countries to meet the challenges facing their investments.

The forum convenes in light of the latest developments and international transformations that impose significant challenges to the Arab countries, especially in terms of growth acceleration, economic diversification and job creation. It provides a platform to strengthen communication among business leaders and government officials.