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World congress tackles unemployment among Arab youth

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jun 07,2014 - Last updated at Jun 07,2014

DEAD SEA — Minister of Finance Umayya Toukan has stressed the importance economic reforms, especially in the fields of energy and water.

Addressing the opening of the International Economic Association’s (IEA) 17th World Congress on Friday, the minister reviewed Jordan’s economic reforms, which he said played an important role in enhancing equality and fairness in distribution of development gains as well as job creation.

The minister said Jordan proved to be capable of overcoming various challenges, thus creating an environment that is attractive for investments.

The five-day meeting is held by the  Amman-based Columbia Global Centres-Middle East in collaboration with the IEA under the patronage of Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania.

Joseph Stiglitz, IEA president and university professor, Columbia University, stressed the importance of the event, which is being held for the first time in the Arab world.

The congress, he said, provides a platform for exchange of expertise and research on economy-related issues.

The event addresses several vital regional and international issues related to development and growth, Stiglitz noted. 

On Saturday, several panels were held on economic cooperation, economic development and labour policies in the Arab world.

In a session on labour policies,  participants called for a strategy to address the increasing unemployment rates among the Arab youth.

“The issue of unemployment is a common issue in the Middle East region and it needs to be fundamentally addressed,” said Omar Razzaz, chairman of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development, during the session.

He also stressed the need for industrial policies across the Arab world to enhance the employment of the youth and create jobs.

Participants during the session also highlighted the key role education plays in enabling students and empowering them to find jobs.


The participants also highlighted the importance of increasing women’s participation in the economy, which they said is a major driver for economic growth and advancement of societies.

Participants in the event will look into current labour market policies under academic scrutiny, monetary policy in a post-crisis world, and recent research on inequality of opportunity in the Middle East, challenges and dilemmas of policy making after the Arab Spring, and the post-2015 Development Agenda, among others.

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