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Last Updated:[30-03-2009 08:47:39 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Bilateral Trade Will be High on Agenda of Arab-Latin American Summit at Doha



tradenews Qatar will play host to the second summit between the South American region and the Arab world. Heads of the states or representatives from 12 countries from the Latin American region and 22 countries from the Arab world are expected to attend the summit which will highlight on bilateral trade for further strengthening of ties between the two blocs.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during his visit to five Middle East countries in 2003 had urged for a common platform of interaction between the two regions, and as a result, the first summit was held in Brazil in 2005. Although, various political issues are there to be addressed by both blocs, taking into account the present global economic crisis, the summit is likely to focus on the larger need of bilateral economic activity. However, experts did not rule out the possibility of covering several political issues during the summit including Israel’s 22 day-long destruction of Palestine, arrest warrant of Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and the Britain’s Falkland Island claim over Argentina.

Recommendations from an Arab and South American business forum that is conducted on the sidelines of the meet will be submitted to the parent summit. Minister of Business and Trade Sheikh Fahad bin Jassim al Thani of Qatar has stated at the forum that there should be FTAs in place to enhance the trade volumes. He further added the two-way trade between the blocs was just $10bn in 2005, and the same has touched $21bn in 2008, an increase of 50 percent. In his keynote speech he appealed the summit to review the requirement for joint chamber of commerce to frequently exchange both parties’ needs and views.

According to a final draft that would be tabled at the summit will seek assurances from all the member-states to mutually support each other in every international fora; and in increasing trade, energy and technological exchanges. The summit gains significance especially because there are three members of this summit including Brazil, Argentina and Saudi Arabia that would be participating in the G-20 Meet in London later this week to update on both blocs’ needs. The third version of the Arab-South American summit will be held in Peru in 2011.

By Jose Roy




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