The annual growth rate of the Arab countries' Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had reached 4.8 percent in the Fiscal Year 2012-13, a report by the Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) showed Tuesday.
"This high rate was achieved despite the geopolitical problems in the region, particularly the Syrian conflict, thanks to the swelling oil prices and revenues," ESCWA Chief Economist and Director, Economic Development and Globalization Division Abdallah Al-Dardari said in a ceremony to launch the report, themed "Survey of Economic and Social Developments in the Arab Region" for the FY 2012-13, held in Beirut Tuesday.
Al-Dardari went on to say that "with the projected gradual decline of oil prices over retreat demand the Arab region GDP growth rate is expected to hover between 4-4.4 percent for FY 2013-14".
He noted that the Gulf Cooperation Council economies are undergoing relative stability compared with that of the Arab Mashreq and Arab Maghreb countries which had been negatively impacted by the political and social unrest.
The ESCWA report also revealed a remarkable improvement in the Arab women political participation in the past five years.
Arab women's representation in parliaments has jumped from nine percent in 2008 to 13 percent in 2013, it stated.
The ESCWA annual report is intended to assess the Arab economies in the global context of economic events that took place recently and also to address pressing policy agenda in the region by a theme-based in-depth research.
The Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA) was established on 9 August 1973 pursuant to the Economic and Social Council's resolution 1818. The purpose of setting up the Commission was to raise the level of economic activity in member countries and strengthen cooperation among them. It was also intended to meet the need of the countries in Western Asia for the services of a regional economic commission to promote the development efforts in the region.
Its membership comprises 17 Arab countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, The Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, The United Arab Emirates and Yemen