Arab countries should remove tariffs and other barriers among themselves, liberalize trade in services and encourage the establishment of large Arab transnational corporations in the region if they hope to maximize the benefits of globalization and reduce its adverse affects, according to a new United Nations report released today.
Those recommendations and others are contained in the "Annual Review of Developments in Globalization and Regional Integration in the Countries of the ESCWA Region, 2002 "- the flagship publication of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) - launched today at UN Headquarters in New York and in Beirut.
The report, which assesses the extent to which the Arab world has become part of the world economy and follows up on progress made towards Arab regional economic integration, also recommends establishing links between stock markets in Arab countries as well as a regional bank aimed at financing development in the region, and improve the area's infrastructure in accordance with a common strategy.
The report reviews the extent of progress in making use of the opportunities provided by globalization by focusing on four main indicators: trade, foreign direct investment, communications and tourism.
Speaking at a press briefing in New York on the launch of the report, Houssam Asaad Diab, Charge d'Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations, whose country currently chairs the Commission, said there was no doubt that the publication would assist member countries to use opportunities provided by globalization.