Issue No. (42) of the quarterly Arab Economic Bulletin for the second quarter of 2019 includes five studies dealing with the issues of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area and the requirements for its development. It also includes the needs of the development of agriculture and Arab food industries through smart methods, as well as the needs of curriculum development and strengthening the affiliation of the Arab expatriates to the Arab economies.
The first study, entitled "The current status of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area," examines the mechanisms of implementing this region and its developments, and shows the organizational structure of its statistical bodies and indicators, and considers the development requirements of the region in order to identify the issues that need to be overcome.
The second study exposures “The comments of the Union of Arab Chambers on the development of a framework for the inclusion of the technical, sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions in the GAFTA”, which outlines the incorporation of these topics within the region and the elements required in developing a legislative framework attached to its executive program, including the responsibilities of the official contact points of the Arab countries in these areas.
The third study, "Smart Agriculture and Intelligent Food Processing - Promising options for Arab food security", reviews the state of Arab food security and the challenges facing this sensitive issue in light of the limited horizontal expansion of agriculture, against the availability of opportunities through the adoption of the integrated approach to development and sustainability, and the methods of agriculture and intelligent food processing within the framework of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The fourth study, entitled "Updating curricula to cope with the requirements of the second digital revolution", presents a new reading of the reality of educational curricula in the Arab world, and the challenges facing its modernization and the creation of new job opportunities that meet the needs of the markets and the areas of benefiting from the new technologies and concepts produced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution known as the Second Digital Revolution.
The fifth study aims to identify "The requirements of enhancing the Arab expatriates' affiliation to the Arab economies", reviewing the reasons for emigration and the current difficulties and the role of expatriate energies in supporting development in the Arab countries in order to define the policies required to encourage the active participation of expatriates in the Arab economies.
We hope that this issue will receive the attention it deserves from decision-makers of the business community and the official Arab authorities.