Luring external investments and boosting domestic businesses will be among top challenges that will face Arab countries in the future, said UK Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt on Monday.
The Middle East and North Africa need to create no less than 40 million jobs in the coming decade to ensure economic prosperity and meet aspirations of the peoples for stability and establishment of democracy, said Burt, addressing the G8 Deauville Partnership Investment Conference, held in London.
Burt said aiding Arab countries in need for economic and financial support is among priorities of the UK government, singling out Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.
The "Arab Spring" is the greatest international event of the 21st century, he added, affirming that the major transformations in the Arab region are related to peoples' desire to live in dignity and attain basic rights, namely the right to work.
He indicated that the two-day conference is aimed at proposing plans to Arab governments to improve investment environment and shed light on prospected business opportunities to help the Arab nations.
The past two and a half years witnessed major changes in the Arab world and this transitional period is forecast to last for generations, thus the Deauville partners have strategic outlook as to investments in these countries.
Chairman of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Dr. Ahmad Mohammad Ali affirmed that the conference is designed to examine the business status aand means of enhancing investments in the "Arab spring countries." He indicated at the bank cooperation with the British government and the European Bank for organization of the convention.
The IDB declared plans to earmark special funds to aid Arab countries at the previous conference, held in 2011. Up to USD 2.6 billion were allotted for Egypt and USD 1.1 billion for Tunisia.
Ali added that the bank supported construction of a free industrial zone in Yemen and a program for youth employment in Tunisia.
The UK Presidency of the G8, in association with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the IDB, organized the convention, bringing together ministers, business leaders, investors and senior government officials from across the G8, Arab Countries namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE and Turkey as well as representatives major international financial institutions. It is primarily aimed at overcoming barriers to investment, set out opportunities for investment sharing experiences. The Deauville Partnership's long-term goal is generating job creation and prosperity for the people of "the Arab Countries in Transition."