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SCCI Hosts First Meeting Of ICC’s South Asia / Middle East Regional Consultative Group (RCG)

Forum focuses on enhanced corporate performance, consolidation of international trade concepts, support for Sharjah International Trade Arbitration Centre

The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) today (Sunday, 03 May 2009) hosted the first meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) South Asia / Middle East Regional Consultative Group (RCG) at the SCCI’s new building. The meeting was attended by Ahmad Mohammad Al Midfaa, SCCI Chairman; Hussein Mohammed Al Mahmoudi, SCCI Director General; Dr. Ahmad Saif Belhasa, Chairman of ICC’s UAE National Committee; Ji Scepan, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce; Saeed Obeid Al Jarwan, Second Deputy Chairman of SCCI and the Executive Secretary of the UAE National Committee; members of the SCCI Board of Directors and representatives from Sharjah’s government departments.

The speakers discussed methods to enhance cooperation and communication with the ICC’s Head Office in Paris. Recommendations included more participation in ICC meetings; consolidation of international concepts and strategies to improve the performance of companies and institutions; and the development of investment opportunities related to international trade. Participants also reviewed the reports of the National Committees, the results of their financial and commercial activities, and membership issues.

The inaugural conference highlighted the key roles of the ICC and its new initiatives aimed at expanding its international activities, with emphasis on closer relations with RCGs so as to achieve its strategic objectives and goals. The speakers underscored the relevance of South Asia and Middle East in supporting the global economy and discussed the repercussions of the global financial crisis as well as the present and future work of the National Committees involved in international trade.

The meeting reviewed the recommendations of the G20 Summit concerning the protection of major financial institutions; reforms in the global financial system; the promotion of the lending system through support for liquidity, sustained capital availability and the strengthening of assets; and the International Monetary Fund’s resources.

Al Midfaa said: “We fully support this first meeting and the future activities of the South Asia / Middle RCG as we believe in this group’s important role in enhancing cooperation among businesses at the local, regional and international levels. It will help encourage the business sector to intensify its participation in developing investment and commercial activities and address economic, social and environmental challenges which impede the implementation of strategies for energizing the business community and promoting global economic growth.”

“Moreover, this meeting is in line with the vision of H.H. Dr. Sultan Bin Al Qassimi of boosting Sharjah’s business potential by leveraging strategic partnerships between local and international economic bodies. This meeting also serves as the right platform to discuss possible international cooperation to overcome the effects of the credit crunch and other pertinent issues,” added Al Midfaa.

Commenting on the visit, Belhasa said: “We came together to promote better communication among the ICC’s national committees. We seized the opportunity to create an ideal platform to assess the results of our activities and determine future initiatives and objectives which can uplift the country’s business community amidst the current financial crisis. We hope that through our activities we can substantially support the SCCI’s strategy of building an economy based on the principles of freedom and transparency and complying with prevailing global regulations and laws.”

“This meeting reflects the strong relationship between the ICC and the UAE National Committee. The importance of this event lies in its being an ideal platform to highlight the ICC’s plans and initiatives, which play crucial roles in implementing pertinent international rules, laws, recommendations, customs, and business practices in addition to promoting regional and global sustainable development,” concluded Saeed Obaid Al Jarwan, Executive Secretary General, ICC UAE Chapter.

The attendees agreed on the organization of more key seminars, meetings, and workshop as well as the establishment of new national committees in the region. They also affirmed their commitment to promoting the SCCI’s Sharjah International Trade Arbitration Centre. The Centre provides commercial dispute resolution and other services to the Chamber’s members, individuals, investment and commercial companies, and institutions with the objective of promoting investment and economic stability in the region.

SCCI will continue to focus on launching leading initiatives similar to the Development Strategy for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in Sharjah, the Sharjah International Trade Arbitration Centre, and the Business Council for Sustainable Development United Arab Emirates (BCSD-UAE) and many others. The Chamber also aims to engage in strategic partnerships and agreements with regional and international organizations as part of its approach to enhance creativity, increase growth rates, and promote the status of Shajah and UAE as a global hub for business and investments.

The UAE National Committee was established in October 2002. Its members include the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and economic associations and major companies and organizations operating across various local and international business sectors. The Dubai-based Committee aims to support international investments; enhance commercial services; encourage a market economy based on the principles of free and fair competition; and represent UAE organizations in the international community.

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