ABDUL HANNAN TAGO
Published — Friday 11 January 2013
Last update 11 January 2013 5:44 am
RIYADH: Top business and political experts and leaders gather in Riyadh tomorrow to discuss pressing economic issues facing Arab countries, including freeing up trade flows, protecting investments and creating millions of new jobs.
The two-day Arab Private Sector Forum (APSF-2013) brings together 500 delegates. The joint organizers of the event are the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC), General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries (GUCCIA), and the General Secretariat of the Arab League.
This event comes on the eve of the major Arabic Economic Summit that takes place on Jan. 21.
Prince Saud Al-Faisal, foreign minister, will address the gathering as the chief guest.
Delegates will discuss the implementation of an Arab free trade agreement; protecting and enhancing investments between businesses and governments; and creating more than 70 million jobs over the next 10 years.
Abdullah bin Saeed Al-Mubti, CSC president, thanked Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for supporting such an important gathering and helping to promote economic cooperation in the region, especially between the public and private sectors.
Al-Mubti, in comments posted on the CSC website, stated that there was a need to enhance Arab trade including joint action such as the Arab Customs Union, the Arab Joint Market, and the Arab Free Trade Area.
He said many issues raised at this two-day meeting will be discussed at the Arab Economic Summit on Jan. 21.
Commenting on the importance of the forum, President of GUCCIA for Arab Countries Adnan Kassar, said that it demonstrates the commitment of the private sector to economic and social development, particular in view of the recent global economic crisis.
Kassar said the delegates will determine what issues will be discussed at the Arab Economic Summit. This includes developing small and medium-sized businesses, Arab food security, social housing, industrial development, information technology and job creation for young people.