Cairo hosted the annual meetings of the Arab Federation for Engineering Industries on 16-17/1/2013. Amongst participants: HE Mr.Mohamed El-Rabie, the General Secretary of the Council of Arab Economic Unity; Dr.Hasan Abdelmaguid, the President of the Egyptian Authority for Standards & Quality-representative of HE the Minister of Trade and Industry; and Eng.Hamdi Abdelaziz, the Chairman of the Chamber for Engineering Industries in the Egyptian Federation of Industries. Fifty members from Egypt, Syria, Sudan, Lebanon, Bahrain, and KSA attended the meetings and approved the new strategic vision of the federation and its structures as well as the modified bylaw that fits with this vision. A new Board of Directors for the term 2012-2016 was elected.
Alongside the meetings, a seminar on "Impacts of the political situation on the economy in the region" was organized.
Highlights of the opening speeches
HE El-Rabie emphasized the role of private sector in the national economy, and appraised AFEI accomplishments and goals in his speech, concluding with wishes of more success for the AFEI.
In his speech, Eng.Hafez, Chairman of the AFEI board of directors mentioned that consensus is the basis for working towards the goals, and AFEI is changing the mode of cooperation between members with the aim to be more effective in their respective countries. And for the first time, members are representing the employers as an active partner on the national level.
The speech of Dr.Abdelmaguid asserted that the engineering industry is the basis for all other industries. And the government in Egypt is promoting the role of national and Arab NGOs as a means for developing the industry. He mentioned that cooperation and solidarity, working as a team, and depending on science and modern technologies are characteristics of this era and are the only way for industrial development in our countries.
Eng.Abdulaziz presented the Chamber of Engineering Industries briefly, and summarized the challenges facing the sector as a result of different trade agreements (Arab, European, Aghadir,..). He concluded: businessmen continuous meetings can achieve what the governments could not achieve; we hope as a federation of industries to be able to integrate and fill the gaps.
Dr.Yafi, the General Secretary of AFEI mentioned that concepts changed around the globe, and the federation became more experienced in cooperating regionally, on the Arab level, and with the government. He confirmed that the cooperation of the group of employers with legislative and development institution nationally, regionally, and internationally created a brand name for the federation, and the federation is a counterpart in policy making and planning measures related to the sector. This would not have been possible without the faith each member has. Although the Federation umbrella brings the members closer, nevertheless, the priorities of each one in supporting the society and government are varied. Therefore, each country will focus on its own issues, i.e., the AFEI goals will be reached partially, and in different ways within the countries to fit their phase of development and priorities.