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U.S. Department of State
96/04/10 Fact Sheet: Middle East/North Africa Economic Summits
Bureau of Public Affairs


Fact Sheet: The Middle East/North Africa Economic Summits 
 
"Here in Amman, we must also go beyond our work at Casablanca. We must 
reinforce our public-private sector partnership for peace and foster 
patterns of commercial cooperation across the Middle East. Governments 
have a responsibility to lay the foundations for peace and prosperity. 
But the private sector has the opportunity to build the structure of a 
lasting peace reinforced by rising prosperity." 
 
--Secretary Christopher  
 
The Amman Economic Summit, October 29, 1995 
 
In October 1995, senior representatives from 70 countries and more than 
1,000 international business leaders attended the Middle East/North 
Africa Economic Summit in Amman, Jordan. This was the second in the 
series of summits begun in Casablanca in 1994. The purpose of the 
summits is to create a strong economic pillar that will help achieve and 
sustain peace in the Middle East. The summits emphasize a public-private 
partnership for economic development and seek ways to foster integration 
of business executives views and concerns into government economic 
decisions, project development and presentation, and investment 
opportunities.  
 
The success of the Amman Summit and the international consensus to hold 
two more summits demonstrates how firmly this process is anchored in the 
center of efforts for regional development and cooperation and creation 
of a strong economic pillar for the peace process.   
 
Amman Summit Accomplishments 
 
At the summit, regional governments, supported by key states from 
outside the region as well as by the international business community, 
strengthened their commitment to the regional approach to economic 
development, with particular emphasis on economic reform and other 
actions attractive to the business community. 
 
To help provide the structure needed to nurture this regional approach 
to development and to foster integration of valuable private sector 
views into economic decision-making, summit participants launched two 
regional institutions--the Regional Business Council and the Middle East 
and Mediterranean Tourism and Travel Association--both of which involve 
strong private as well as public participation.  They also agreed to 
establish the Bank for Economic Cooperation and Development in the 
Middle East and North Africa to support private sector growth, regional 
infrastructure development, and regional economic cooperation. 
 
The plenary sessions at the summit--devoted to trade and industry, 
infrastructure, investment and finance, and the economic environment--
stressed the need for states in the region to adopt reform strategies, 
including privatization, to attract investment and spur growth. Regional 
states presented their plans to achieve these goals. Moreover, in 
anticipation of the summit, a number of regional states announced steps 
to accelerate their liberalization and restructuring.  
 
Various workshops, thematic discussions, and briefings provided a venue 
for project presentations, debates on economic themes, and sectoral 
analyses by regional and international experts. These fora were 
supplemented by informal contacts, country luncheons, briefings, and 
numerous negotiations.  
 
In addition to establishing the institutional basis for further 
cooperation, the summit also resulted in conclusion of a number of 
business deals, including a contract for a U.S. company to provide 
Internet services to Jordan, and another between Qatar and a U.S. firm 
to produce and transport natural gas to Israel and, possibly, to other 
Levantine states. 
 
The 1996 Cairo Economic Summit 
 
The next summit, to be held November 12-14, 1996, will be in Cairo, 
Egypt; the 1997 summit will be in Qatar, underscoring the growing and 
important role that Gulf states are playing in the summit process.  
 
The U.S. Government, as co-chair of the Middle East peace process along 
with the Russian Federation, will work closely with the organizers of 
the summit--the World Economic Forum--as well as the Egyptian Government 
to ensure that the momentum generated by the Casablanca and Amman 
gatherings is maintained and strengthened. The U.S. also will continue 
its close collaboration with the U.S. business community to assure its 
participation in the public-private partnership. 
 
 
Information Sources
More information is available on the World Wide Web at the following 
site:  http://www.ita.doc.gov/region/amman 
 
Also, you may contact the following for information:  
 
World Economic Forum 
Geneva, Switzerland 
Tel: (41 22) 736 02 43 
Fax: (41 22) 786 27 44 
 
Tony Verstandig, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, 
U.S. Department of State 
Tel: (202) 647-7170 
Fax: (202) 736-4462 
 
Judith Barnett, Senior Adviser to the Under Secretary, U.S. Department 
of Commerce 
Tel: (202) 482-8024 
Fax: (202) 482-5933 

April 10, 1996
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