Monday, October 23

Arab Economics Union is desperatel​y needed

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Throughout the history of mankind, we can find that economics and politics are always linked together. There is no successful politics without strong sustainable economics and vice versa. As a matter of fact, if we have studied the reasons of most of the old and recent political and security unrest, including the Arab Spring, we will find that economy is the sole common factor in all of these events, which in many cases ignited the first spark, as what had happened recently in Tunisia. In recent politics, economy is the most important factor in any election and political campaign. Strong sustainable economy — with no doubt — leads into psychological, intellectual, social, political and military security. Strong economy with abundant well-paid jobs, good living conditions, good education and health programs will definitely lead into political stability and security. For that reason, I believe that economics is more important to the majority of the people than politics.


Lately, someone asked me what is the top priority matter to the Arabs nowadays? My answer was: creating a strong sustainable Arab economic union through the development and implementation of strategies for cooperation and joint economic integration among all 22 Arab countries, without any exception. This is what Arabs, their governments and specially Arab League must focus and work on as a top priority. Of course other matters are important; but to me not as important as this.


I mentioned in a previous article that the Almighty God, by His grace and bounty, have blessed the Arab world with abundance of wealth, raw materials, energy sources, fresh water, fertile soil and many natural and skilled human resources which, if employed properly and effectively under a unified Arab economic strategy, it will create an economic power (union) similar to China, European Union and the United States. I cannot think of anything, including most of the raw materials used for many types of basic and advanced manufacturing and agricultural industries, that cannot be found in one or more of the 22 Arab League countries.


The question that needs an answer is: why don’t Arabs have a clear mission and vision for creating a strong sustainable economic, industrial, agricultural, health and educational unions that can initiate joint projects and create new economical and industrial communities that can solve most of their social, economic and security challenges? If we have the raw materials, funds, and all the required resources, then what is missing? Why do we continue selling raw materials to the industrial countries outside the Arab world and then buy their manufactured products by multiples of the price? Why do we help these industrialized countries to strengthen their economies, solving their social problems, and forget ours?


I do not think that anyone will disagree with me that Arabs had failed in creating a joint economic union(s) which worsened the deterioration of the economic, social and security situation in most of the Arab countries. What happens in Iraq, Syria and Egypt is good evidence to this argument. I am here calling upon the Arab League to revive the idea of establishing an Arab economic, industrial and agricultural unions and markets. Why don’t we try to success economically first? I leave the answer to this question to His Excellency, the Secretary General of the Arab League.


— Dr. Sami Al-Nuaim is a Saudi writer and can be reached on Twitter: @neaimsa. His articles can be read


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