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AFEI General Assembly and BOD meetings

Twenty member companies of AFEI from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq attended the General Assembly and BOD meetings in Beirut, Lebanon.

The AFEI Chairman of the BOD emphasized in his opening speeches the need for such platform that allows members to get involved in tackling pressing issues which affect their businesses, societies, and countries. He also stressed the need to continue the quest towards making AFEI a corner stone in the process of developing the economic regulations which would guarantee harmonization with the global developments and provide guidance to the economic development initiatives.

Members discussed the negative impact of current challenges in their countries manifesting primarily in the issue of getting visas to enter the country where the meeting is conducted. They also praised the efforts of the AFEI members of each country in contacting their national institutions to resolve issues in this regard.

On the discussion table also was the fact that AFEI includes a variety of different industries. Attendees agreed to consider this feature as an opportunity and proceed to establish homogeneous associations under the AFEI umbrella that would tackle specialized common issues. A good example of such endeavor is the Arab Cable Manufacturers Association which was launched in 2005.

Some fundamental barriers to inter-Arab trade and investments were acknowledged. These are: the additional fees (beside tariff) on the products, prices of energy in some Arab countries, and dumping. As an association of employers, AFEI is requested to lobby for overcoming some obstacles. For that, the young industrialists’ representative proposed to hire bright youth and offer mentorship and framework for them to come up with studies on how to tackle such common barriers as well as to change the mentality of “what AFEI offers to members” into “what members can offer to AFEI”.

Alongside the meetings, AFEI organized a seminar with two experts. Mr. Patrick Daru, ILO delivered a presentation titled “Employers participation in skills development”, and Mr. Philip Chite, ESCWA delivered a presentation titled “Current and prospected trade opportunities for the engineering industries in the Arab world”.

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Annual meeting of the Arab Sectoral Federations no. 42

The meeting presented studies and proposals that were submitted from the federations in the field of quality, maritime transportation, and technology innovation. The General Secretarial of the Arab Council for Economic Unity also presented a unified bylaw for the Arab sectoral federations

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Workshop on E-Commerce in the Arab region

The General Secretariat of the Arab Council for Economic Unity organized the workshop with the aim to promote benefits and positive impact of the E-Commerce on the inter-Arab trade on the one hand, as well as to present the requirements for implementing E-Commerce applications in the Arab countries.

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10th ArabCab Conference

The 10th Arab Cable Manufacturers Conference was held in Aswan, Egypt and focused on “transportation in the arab world”. 

In addition to discussing the common issues and problems facing cable manufacturers in the region, the conference hosted a number of key speakers in the fields of cable manufacturing  and its related industries, as well as the fields of transportation and economic development. 

Alongside the event, field visits around the city of Aswan were featured.

For more information, please visit the ArabCab website

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Annual meeting of the Arab Sectoral Federations no. 41

A delegation from AFEI joined the meeting which was held in Beirut, Lebanon and attended by chairmen and general secretaries of the Arab Sectoral Federations as well as business men and women.

The Chairman of the Arab Federation for Metrology presented a paper summarizing the federation’s efforts towards unified standards for various products in order to facilitate the inter-Arab countries trade and the equal effort to harmonize the Arab standards with the international ones in order to open a market for the Arab products. He described the plan to build a quality assessment labs for food products within the ten member countries of the federation and then to expand to other products.

The General Secretary of the CAEU referred to the engagement of the Arab Sectoral Federations through the structure of five main sectors under the umbrella of CAEU and proposed an idea to establish a Board of Directors for the federations with CAEU acting as a secretariat for it. The discussion ended up with an agreement to give a chance to the federations to get their feedback about the effectiveness of this idea, and propose operational details in a designated meeting to be held mid January.

The attendees discussed the first draft of the proposed Arab Investment & Trade working mechanism. It was agreed to form a working group and assign it the task of deepening the concepts of the mechanism and to present a paper to the meeting mid January.

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CAEU technical committee meeting: Investment and Trade promotion in the Arab countries

AFEI representatives participated in the meeting of the CAEU technical committee which focused on the proposed scheme for promoting investment and trade in the Arab countries.

The meeting started with a speech of the CAEU General Secretary who mentioned that the government has been acting on behalf of the private sector and taking decisions that are not related to its needs for a long time, and it is no more effective for the government and the private sector to act independently of each others. HE emphasized that CAEU proposed scheme is meant to allow the private sector to express its needs and opportunities. He concluded by asserting that the scheme sets the basis for the private sector organizations and other stakeholders to get involved.

Among other hot topics was the paper on private sector role in financing SMEs in the Arab countries. The focus was on innovative options for financing that are effective and in line with the society values.

Downloadable files:

Agenda

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Meetings of the Arab Iron & Steel Union

Upon invitation from the Arab Iron & Steel Union, the AFEI representative Mr.Mutassem Daaboul attended the BOD meeting no. 107.

The meeting agenda included latest updates in the steel manufacturing sector on the arab and international levels, and the establishment of a regional office for the union in the Gulf.

The attendees focused on the need for coordination and integration amongst the producers of steel to face the challenge that resulted from the increase of the raw material prices which impacted the cost of production. The chairman of the board emphasized the need to intensify the R&D activities toward making use of the local raw material and developing the production technology in order to reduce the cost of production.

The topic of including Carbon emissions reduction programs and energy conservation measures within the future plans for the production facilities was promoted.