LAS, IsDB, and UNCTAD Organize 2nd High-Level Meeting on Draft New “Pan-Arab Investment Agreement” for Investment and Legal Experts of Arab States

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 23 May 2022 - The  General Secretariat of the League of Arab States (LAS), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)’s Regional Cooperation and Integration (RCI) Department, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) are organizing the Second High-Level Meeting for Investment and Legal Experts of Arab States to discuss the draft new “Pan-Arab Investment Agreement” and to ensure its alignment with the modern trend of international investment agreements.

During the Expert Group Meeting, Mr. Mohammed Bukhari, Senior Investment Promotion and Regional Cooperation Specialist, RCI Department, IsDB, delivered welcoming remarks. He thanked the Arab Experts for participating in the second EGM and enriching the discussions. He highlighted the importance of the Agreement in reviving intra-regional investments and in spurring economic growth in the region.

Mr. Kamel Sarsar, Senior Legal Counsel, IsDB, made a presentation on the review of IsDB legal experts of the draft Agreement. This was followed by a presentation by Mrs.  Afrah Khalifa, Project Coordinator, RCI Department at IsDB, on RCI programs and the Investment Promotion Technical Assistance Program of the IsDB.

The meeting was chaired by Mrs. Rihab Hamid, Minister Plenipotentiary, Economic Relations Department, LAS, and  attended by the IsDB’s RCI and legal team; Mr. Hamed El-Kady, Senior Investment Policy Officer, UNCTAD; Mr. Makane Mbengue, Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva and Director of the Department of International Law and International Organization; Dr. Amr Haider, Legal expert in the field of international investment agreements, and Legal Experts from the Arab States,

Mrs. Rihab emphasized in her opening speech that His Excellency the Secretary-General, Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, is keen to complete the agreement as soon as possible and in a manner that would place it in the ranks of modern international agreements in the field of investment, pointing out that the Arab League will include all the observations and views of the Arab countries in the revised draft agreement.

The meeting, which will be held from 23-25 May 2022, represents a platform for experts representing Arab countries to discuss the clauses and annexes of the draft agreement and submit their proposed amendments to the General Secretariat of LAS. As a next step, LAS will prepare and approve the final version of the Arab Investment Agreement by the Economic and Social Council at the upcoming final meeting.

Collaboration between IsDB and LAS is guided by a Cooperation Agreement signed in October 1992, where the two institutions agreed, among other things, to implement various joint regional projects to promote trade and investment opportunities as well as cooperation and contribution to joint programs and operations in various fields, such as food security, environment preservation, technical cooperation and information sector.