Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs headed the UAE’s delegation to participate in the G8 and Turkey Finance Ministers meeting held in Marseille, France from Saturday to Sunday. The UAE’s delegation included Younis Haji Al Khouri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), and Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Assistant Undersecretary of International Financial Relations Sector at MoF. During the meeting, the ministers of finance discussed the Deauville Partnership final statement, which was approved following talks by deputy finance ministers, including a delegation from the UAE, and were held on September 9, 2011. Headed by the Undersecretary of MoF, the UAE’s participants contributed in adding a number of amendments to the final statement which aimed at highlighting the role of Arab states in supporting economic and financial reform policies, and enhancing Arab and regional integration by activating the Greater Arab Free Trade Area and implementing decisions regarding the establishment of the Arab Customs Union in 2015. The G8 ministers of finance agreed on the Deauville Partnership final statement, which indicated that a sum of $38 billion would be collected from international and regional organisations, including Arab partner states, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morroco, and Tunisia. The UAE Initiative was another prominent topic highlighted at the meeting, where Al Tayer, in his capacity as President of the Council of Arab Ministers of Finance, elaborated on the initiative, which was previously presented during the council’s exceptional meeting in Abu Dhabi, on Sept7, 2011. The UAE suggested a new economic agenda, following a detailed analysis of the effects of the financial crisis and future expectations for Arab states. The agenda is based on the comprehensive financial policy for stability, trade financing, enhancing and developing investments and creating new job opportunities, increasing the Arab states’ ability to compete with global economies in addition to developing electronic clearing systems. He indicated that the Ministers of Finance commended the UAE’s initiative and considered it to be a roadmap for Arab development. They also asked the Arab Monetary Fund to prepare comprehensive documentation, in partnership with other regional financial institutions, to be presented at the next Ministers of Finance meeting at Marrakesh in April 2012.