The Secretary-General of the Union of Arab Chambers, Dr. Khaled Hanafy, during his participation to the Joint Arab Efforts Forum to harmonize and develop accreditation and food safety systems, stressed the importance of the meeting, which today represents an essential station for stopping at two important accomplishments for concerted joint Arab efforts under the umbrella of the Arab League, pointing to the "importance of the Arab accreditation body role in coordinating and developing the infrastructure for accreditation activities in the Arab countries in order to achieve international recognition and confidence in the conformity assessment services accredited by the Arab accreditation bodies."
He pointed out that "the issue of accreditation is very important for the Arab private sector to enhance its foreign and inter-Arab trade, as the issue of accreditation has always been a fundamental obstacle to the free flow of Arab trade," noting that "the Union of Arab Chambers as the true representative of the Arab private sector is fully prepared to cooperate with this apparatus, where the UAC can form a bridge between it and all Arab chambers, and even with our Arab foreign chambers spread throughout all the poles of the world."
Noting the accomplishments achieved by the Arab team for food safety, he pointed out "the necessity of direct implementation of the mechanism that was developed to define the responsibilities of the authorities and the work system to unify Arab food standards, in cooperation between the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization and the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, and with the authority concerned with the constitution Food in the Arab Group for Food Safety, calling for "the establishment of a platform that includes all laws, regulations and legislation related to the export and import of food commodities in Arab countries with high transparency. We hope that the Arab Organization for Industrial Development and Mining will assume this responsibility by virtue of its jurisdiction, given the great importance that this platform represents in facilitating inter-Arab trade in commodities and food products.
The Secretary-General of the UAC also participated in the Forum for the Inauguration of the Arab Food Safety Policy, where he pointed out that the Union of Arab Chambers is proud of its active participation in the work of the Arab team for food safety since 2016 to implement the "Arab Initiative for Food Safety and Trade Facilitation", whose main objective is to support the national efforts to achieve effective integration, compatibility and coordination at the regional level with regard to food safety measures and standards in line with the rules and regulations in the field of international trade in order to facilitate trade in light of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA).
Dr. Hanafy affirmed that "the Union of Arab Chambers gave this topic a high degree of importance, and we worked all the time to highlight the main problems that the Arab trader suffers due to the difference in commercial systems between Arab countries, based on a series of scientific and field studies, and we participated seriously with the rest of the team members in formulating solutions."
He considered that "the broad repercussions of the risks resulting from food poisoning require integrated solutions throughout the food chain, from production to storage, transport and processing," noting that "this issue is of special importance in light of the Corona pandemic and its horrific repercussions and the threats to the global trade in food." And the bottlenecks that may be caused by restrictions on transport and movement, which may jeopardize the safety of goods and food products."
He concluded that "given the importance of food safety for regional and global trade, the adoption of global standards is the ideal solution to reduce risks to the health of the Arab citizen, and to avoid obstacles to the movement of trade in food products."
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Source (Union of Arab Chambers)