The main objective of the fifth issue of the Annual Review of Developments in Globalization and Regional Integration in the Arab Countries, 2006 is to analyze the degree of integration of the Arab economies into the global economy on one hand, and the progress made in the Arab regional integration process on the other hand. Thus it analyzes the extent of the contribution of Arab countries economy in World economy in selected sectors including tourism, trade, investment, oil and gas This issue will provide policy makers with a set of policy recommendations on how best they can proceed with their efforts both in areas of globalization and regional integration. The review is mainly aimed at decision makers in the Arab countries, researchers, academics and other interested in the issues of globalization and Arab regional integration.
Arab countries made further progress in 2005 in terms of their efforts to integrate into global economy. In particular, substantial progress was recorded in the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the tourism indicators. In these two indicators, the Arab countries made faster growth in 2005, compared with 2004, and higher growth compared with other indicators such as trade and Gross Domestic Product. The share of the Arab countries in global FDI inflows reached 4.1 per cent in 2005 compared with 3.1 per cent in 2004 and only 1.5 per cent in 2003. Concerning, Arab countries’ share in global tourism revenues; it jumped to 5.2 percent in 2005 compared with 4.2 percent in 2004 and 2.7 per cent in 2003. This increase resulted from the increase in the total number of tourists in the Arab world, which reached 54 million in 2005 as compared to only 39 million in 2004.
In order to promote both the integration of the Arab economies into the global economy and enhance regional integration, this year's issue of the Annual Review made several recommendations for the decision makers in the region such as: implementation of the Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement (GAFTA), particularly in the institutional areas were implementation is still low, formulating agreement on trade in services, formulating regional agreement to promote intra-regional Foreign Direct Investment (FDI )inflows, coordinating the policies in areas of investment and trade, participating more actively in multilateral trade negotiations, takingfurther steps to promote networking among their capital markets.