201512bod01-1

AFEI BOD meeting – Sudan

The Board of Directors meeting was held under the chairmanship of Eng. Mhd. Saeed Al-Hafiz and facilitated by the Secretary-General Dr. A. Haitham Al-Yafi.

The meeting began with a speech from the Chairman of the BOD, who pointed out that the unrests that struck the Arab world had a huge impact on the development of countries, which makes it a priority to prepare for the next phases and to focus work on development as well as helping people earn a living from their labor. Then he explained that joint-Arab-action faces more and barriers to movement, however, the Federation continues, through its regional offices, to follow up on its tasks.

After that, Dr. Maryam Al-Imam, Assistant Secretary-General of the Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU), welcomed the attendees on behalf of the Secretary-General of CAEU and conveyed his greetings to them wishing everyone a pleasant stay in Sudan. She appreciated the Federation’s contributions to development, especially since the Arab countries are currently suffering greatly. She reiterated that the CAEU is ready to provide everything that helps in the progress of the Federation and its work.

The meeting, in the presence of representatives of CAEU, discussed the affairs of the Arab Federations that the Council have established with the aim of creating associations of companies. The CAEU representatives asked attendees to explicate the problems facing those Federations and their member companies, especially the reasons and obstacles to the implementation of joint industrial projects at the Arab level. Some members of the Federation presented their opinions. For example, the obstacles one businessman faced in establishing a company with a Saudi-Syrian investment in Egypt included procedures for licensing and approvals to establish the business, and the labor law procedures for bringing in experts to train the Egyptian workers. He hoped that CAEU would play its role in mediating with the Egyptian government to resolve these issues.

The Vice Chairman of the Federation’s BOD emphasized that the CAEU has a leadership role, but unfortunately it suffers from bureaucracies and does not get into the heart of economic issues. He hoped that the Council would focus on communicating with businessmen rather than with politicians. In this context, the Secretary-General of the Federation requested that the Secretariat of CAEU assist the Federation’s regional office in Cairo in obtaining official recognition from the Egyptian government so that it can expand its activities and represent the Federation in its fields of expertise and interests, similar to the regional office in Damascus.

Shifting to the Federation’s internal affairs, the issue of decreasing payments of subscriptions over the past two years came up. The attendees’ opinions were that non-payment of subscriptions will not be an obstacle to member companies working under the Federation’s umbrella and committing to its vision, especially since many facilities have been completely destroyed. What is important is the the member is active in public work and is ready to support the Federation with his expertise and support his government in its efforts to stimulate the economic development. The meeting closed with an agreement to hold the General Assembly meeting during the month of May of next year in Beirut/Lebanon, taking into account the increasing difficulties in obtaining an entry visa to other Arab countries.

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