(The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Voicing support for Arab economic integration, a senior economist at the U.N's economic commission for the Middle East (ESCWA) called for the gradual replacement of foreign workers with Arab nationals and for the cost of transport between Arab states to be cut by 50 percent.Titled "Arab Integration: A 21st Century Development Imperative," the report explains the opportunities offered by Arab integration and the political, economic, social and cultural developments needed to achieve it.Dardari, who is one of the main contributors to the report, said it called for the adoption of integrated national policies among Arab countries that would also create diversified economies and high competitiveness."In oil-producing countries, it is very clear that [the Middle East] is a region of non-diversified economies with low competitiveness despite improvements in some cases".He said inter-Arab trade amounted to less than Arab trade with sub-Saharan Africa.
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