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H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid opens the 4th Meeting for the Council of Arab Finance Ministers 04 April 2013
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and President of Dubai Health Authority, opened the annual Meeting of Arab Financial Institutions and the Fourth Meeting for the Council of Arab Finance Ministers. The two-day meetings at the "Grand Hyatt Dubai" witnessed the participation of the Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors as well as general directors of Arab finance institutions and a number of regional and international observers and delegates.
 
In his keynote speech, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid confirmed the importance of the regional cooperation and joint Arab action to establish several joint regional projects. Arab communities are facing many challenges in light of the regional economic blocs in the world that require economic and social integration.
 
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan added that the real growth rate in the Arab region had decreased 4.6 percent in 2010 to 2.4 per cent in 2011, while the foreign debt rates in some Arab countries ranged between 22 percent to 86 percent and the foreign financial flows dropped from $20 billion to become $16 billion.
 
Also, he pointed out that food security tops the list of main challenges facing Arab countries, taking into account that Arab agricultural projects did not achieve the targeted increase in productivity to meet the growing demand for food for several reasons, including poor infrastructure, investment environment, financial resources and scientific research in addition to agricultural services which led to widening food gap to reach $41 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach about $89 billion in 2020.