Arab investors have lost 2.5 trillion dollars from the credit crunch, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah, whose country hosts an Arab economic summit next week, said on Friday.
"The Arab world has lost 2.5 trillion dollars in the past four months" as a result of the global financial crisis, Sheikh Mohammad told a press conference following a joint meeting of Arab foreign and finance ministers in Kuwait.
He also said that about 60 percent of development projects "have either been postponed or cancelled" by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states because of the global meltdown.
Arab leaders who hold their first ever economic summit on January 19-20 will discuss the impact of the worldwide economic meltdown on the 22 Arab countries.
The biggest loss was an estimated 40 percent drop in the value of Arab investments abroad, which previously totalled around 2.5 trillion dollars.
Falls on stock markets contributed more than 600 billion dollars to the losses, while Arab investors were further affected by a sharp decline in oil revenues, the declining value of property investments and other repercussions of the global downturn.
Next week's summit will also discuss the Gaza war but leaders are still intent on agreeing a joint response to the financial crisis.
Copyright AFP 2009. All rights reserved.