The Union of Arab Chambers hosted the 48th session of the meeting of the Higher Coordinating Committee for Arab Joint Action in the presence of His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Dr. Khaled Hanafy, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers, Dr. Kamal Hassan Ali, the Assistant Secretary General - Head of the Economic Sector at the League of Arab States, as well as the presidents, directors, secretaries-general and senior officials of the Arab organizations that are members of the Higher Coordination Committee for joint Arab action.
Speaking at the beginning of the meeting, HE Dr. Kamal Hassan Ali, Assistant Secretary General, pointed out that the Arab region faces great challenges, which necessitates us to join hands and unite in order to overcome these challenges.
He said that holding this session at the headquarters of the Union of Arab Chambers emphasizes the importance of coordination and cooperation between the League of Arab States and the joint Arab labor institutions.
He continued: The General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, gives a fundamental interest in the importance of achieving the Arab economic integration,
and the presence of HE Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Secretary General of the University at this meeting confirms the importance of activating and strengthening the cooperation to reach the fundamental decisions that contribute to advancing the achievement of the goals of sustainable development, which is now the focus of the work of the world countries to achieve the well-being of their peoples.
He stressed that "the Arab world has to use all its human and financial resources to implement the goals set by the United Nations to achieve the goals of sustainable development 2030, otherwise our peoples will suffer from the unemployment and poverty and this has serious consequences on our Arab countries."
The Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers, Dr. Khaled Hanafy, said in his speech that "The Union, which was founded in 1951, is one of the first Arab economic institutions established after the establishment of the League of Arab States to accompany the work of governments as the representative of the Arab private sector and to confirm and activate its role in the economic life and planning the economic policies, especially that the Arab countries were in the process of independence, including the adoption of the open economic system, including the socialist system. The Union called for the market economy as a way of development and growth and to encourage businessmen to invest in vital sectors and productivity.
He also said: "Now we all have a big challenge, the Fourth Industrial Revolution. If we do not adequately equip them at the level of governments and the private sector, we will find ourselves very late on the path of development and technology. They also name this revolution as “Technological Progress Tsunami”. In this sense, we must strive to acquire a sophisticated technical and digital infrastructure, which means reviewing the curricula of the Arab countries and adapting them with education, high technical training, market needs and work."
Hanafy pointed out that "it is useless to talk about Arab economic integration, and to this day we still have not been able to reach the customs union, which was supposed to be a subject to be achieved in 2015, to reach the common Arab market in 2020."
He added: "I demanded and stress on the importance of finding a quick solution to the issue of the standard visa. In this context, we must also work to remove the customs and non-tariff obstacles that still prevent the effective implementation of the Arab Facilitation Agreement. Therefore, it is necessary to start implementing the decisions that were taken in the past, because increasing the obstacles will harm the joint Arab action and will prevent the achievement of the economic integration, which remains a dream for many decades."
Dr. Hanafy concluded: “We are ready to cooperate with our capacity as the representative of the Arab private sector, which represents 75% of the size of the Arab economy, with all parties and stakeholders, in order to achieve the desired Arab economic integration to meet the challenges facing us and jeopardize our future."
H.E. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, stressed the importance of the meeting of the Higher Coordination Committee for joint Arab action, pointing out that "the Coordinating Committee represents the framework governing the Arab cooperation," pointing out that "the League of Arab States with its various organs appreciates the efforts of Arab labor institutions and therefore we are keen to cooperate with it to the maximum extent in order to overcome the challenges and risks facing us."
He added: "The league plays a big role, although it fails in places and succeeds in other ones, but that does not mean that we stand idly by, and we do not move to deal with files and crises since our inception as a League of the Arab countries until today, but certainly the current stage today requires all of us more efforts to catch up with the developments in the world today."
"The Arab countries, in cooperation and coordination with the Union of Arab Chambers, succeeded in pressing Brazil to reverse its decision to move the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem. We conveyed to them a strong message that the transfer of the embassy means the Arab countries cutting off their trade, economic and investment relations with them. It is in this spirit that today we are the most needed to join together and join hands with each other in order to achieve our common goals."
Aboul Gheit concluded: "Our mission is difficult, but it is not impossible if the intentions are true. Therefore, we are concerned, not forced, to execute decisions and turn them into actions, not just statements, because if we remain restricted, we will retreat further and further. The world today is in full swing in the implementation of the goals of sustainable development, while unfortunately, our Arab world is beset with crises, so the fear is that we will miss the opportunity again and reach 2030 without achieving the goals of sustainable development 2030, where the Arab world is in dire need of development."
On the sidelines of the meetings of the Higher Coordination Committee for joint Arab action, a number of memorandums of understanding were signed, including a memorandum of understanding between the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (represented by the Arab Institute for Trade and Commodity Exchange and the College of International Transport and Logistics) and the Union of Arab Chambers in the field of training, logistics and service provision for entrepreneurs and small investors.
A cooperation agreement was also signed between the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, the Union of Arab Chambers and the Organization of the United Arab Emirates (UNIDO) to organize an Arab Rally for Entrepreneurs.
In addition, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Union of Arab Chambers and the Organization of the United Arab Emirates (UNIDO) to organize the 3rd World Entrepreneurs Forum to be held in Bahrain in coordination with the Arab Businessmen and Investors Conference.