01/19/2009, 00.00
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Economic crisis costs Arabs US$ 2.5 trillion

Gulf Cooperation Council nations postpone or cancel 60 per cent of their development projects. First Arab economic summit involving 22 Arab countries opens today in Kuwait.
Kuwait City (AsiaNews) – Arab investors have lost US$ 2.5 trillion from the credit crunch as 60 per cent of development projects in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) are postponed or cancelled, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah said. His country is host to an Arab economic summit that opened today.

“The Arab world has lost 2.5 trillion dollars in the past four months,” he explained, with about 60 per cent of development projects in the GCC area put off to a later date or simply abandoned.

The biggest loss was an estimated 40 per cent drop (or US$ 600 million) in the value of Arab investments abroad.

Arab investors were further affected by a sharp decline in oil revenues, the declining value of property investments and other repercussions of the global downturn.

The summit, which is the first Arab economic meeting involving the leaders of all 22 Arab countries, will also tackled the issue of aid and reconstruction assistance for Gaza.

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