New Delhi, November 14: The largest ever Indo-Arab conference convened on private initiative ended here this week after two days of brainstorming on how to boost mutual business, trade, cultural and people-to-people relations.

The significance of the meet can be gauged from the fact that five Union cabinet ministers, the prime minister and the Delhi chief minister were among people who interacted with the delegates. On the Arab side, the representation was on a similarly (if not equally) high level. The lone non-Arab foreign delegate was Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister and major Asian policy thinker, Dr Anwar Ibrahim. Business leaders and top executives of major financial institutions, opinion makers and academics completed the picture.

At the end of the conference (organised jointly by Institute of Objective Studies and Indo-Arab Economic Cooperation Forum), the delegates passed a number of resolutions that, according to the forum president, Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam, is going to have a "far-reaching effect on mutual relations across the board". The following is the text of the resolutions:  

The global economic architecture is visibly transformed in the New Millennium. Finance, resources, technology and markets are no longer the preserve of the developed world. The developing countries today possess not only markets and resources but also commandeer cutting-edge technology and surplus investible funds to drive global businesses.

The power shift has given new meanings to South-South Cooperation, particularly between regions that are economically and culturally contiguous. India and the Arab World share deep-set economic and cultural linkages, and are both on the ascendant in the emerging global economic cycle of prosperity. 

The two regions are now poised to leverage the complementarities in the realms of trade, investments, and sharing of technology and expertise, to forge a strong partnership in development. The growing partnership, in time, will give spurs to the cherished economic integration of an economic market  - the Asian- Arab region.

Opportunities galore for high-level Indo-Arab partnerships, but there is a greater need for wider dissemination of knowledge and information in this regard

  • The Indo-Arab Economic Cooperation Forum envisages a comprehensive partnership between India and the Arab world that extends beyond economic relations to facilitation of high growth and sustainable development in the two regions.
  • In time to come, the Forum will impress upon the participating countries to extend to each other preferential treatment in the areas of trade, investment, human resources and technology transfer.
  • The Forum hopes that in the medium-term, the regional integrative aspirations would translate into the forming of an Asian -Arab Monetary Union.
  • The Indo-Arab Economic Cooperation Forum promotes the participation of both large and medium sized companies and organisations in evolving partnerships. To facilitate this, the Forum shall extend affiliations to business groups and research bodies working towards building Indo-Arab relations.
  • The Forum has constituted high-level committee.

Indian Side

1.     Dr. M. Manzoor Alam

2.     Mr. Santosh Bhartiya

3.     Mr. Vipin Malik

4.     Mr. Ravi Kishore

Arab Side

1.     Mr. Rashid Al-Suwaiket

2.     Dr. Abdulrehman Al-Khareiji

3.     Dr. Samir Q. Fakhro

4.     Dr. Sulaiman Al-Qimlas

The mandate of the Committee will be:

1.     To take members from other Arab countries with equal representatives from India.

2.     To form sub-committees

        Particular attention will be focused on emerging areas of cooperation, knowledge services such as, infotech, biotechnology, finance and banking and the like.
        The Forum shall work to constitute an empowered group to facilitate a better understanding of the reciprocal tax arrangements/revamping, trade and investments, and financial regulations governing markets in the region.
        The Forum shall also seek to establish a robust mechanism for seamless flow of information pertaining to business opportunities, transfer of technology, sharing of expertise and human capital including easing travel facilities between the two regions.
        Further, to bring the youths of the two regions on a common platform, the Forum shall impress upon the governments to create opportunities for students from the two regions to pursue higher education in specialized streams in the participating countries.
    The Indo-Arab Economic Cooperation Forum is a non-governmental organisation. The Forum maintains the highest degree of independence in its functioning and shall strive to liaison with the government agencies to give expression to the stated goals of Indo-Arab partnership for development.
        To meet the demand of time, the Forum shall provide information and analysis to individuals and groups on an on-demand basis.
        The Forum maintains its financial autonomy and will continue to provide research and consulting services while observing the highest standards of accuracy and objectivity.
    The Indo-Arab Economic Cooperation Forum shall seek to open chapters in the Arab world to promote the spirit of Indo-Arab partnership for development.
        In so doing, due attention will be directed towards promoting cultural exchanges between the two regions.
    With the concurrence of the Arab world, the Forum shall hold annual conferences on Indo-Arab partnership for development in the participating countries on a rotational basis.

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