In line with its regional business development strategy, Fransabank Group participated as a Gold Sponsor in the Arab Private Sector Forum, that took place in Riyadh, KSA earlier in January of this year.
The forum, which is preceding the 3rd Arab Developmental, Economic and Social Summit to be hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in January 2013, aimed at putting together a memorandum to present to Arab leaders participating in the Arab Summit.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Prince Saud Al Faisal, and organized by the General Union of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries, in collaboration with the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the League of Arab States, the Arab Private Sector Forum convened at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh over 500 renowned global and regional economic speakers and decision makers around the theme “Towards an active participation of the private sector in the development initiatives and the Arab economic integration”.
The forum sought to enhance a mutual vision for the Arab private sector towards the economic issues emerging both regionally and globally, and topics that form a priority to the Arab business sector agenda and that needed to be discussed during the summit in order to provide a convenient environment that allows the flow of trade and bilateral Arab investments as well as to provide the right environment for the private sector and expand its role in Arab economic integration issues given that the private sector contributes an average of over 50% of the gross domestic product in the Arab world.
President Adnan Kassar, Chairman of Fransabank Group and Chairman of the General Union of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries stressed in his key note speech on the importance of this economic forum and its major role in strengthening the cooperation between the Arab countries for the development of the economic sector especially after the repercussions of the “Arab Spring” that are impacting the region at so many levels.
He equally insisted on the need for Arab countries to boost intraregional trade, investments and push for deeper economic integration. He incited Arab countries to uphold plans for a customs union due in 2012 to face current and ongoing economic challenges in the region, mainly unemployment. “We need to take real measures to move to a customs union paving the way for a common market,” he said, calling for an agreement to facilitate visas for businesspersons and to ease bureaucratic barriers. He added: “Arab countries need to finalize legislative frameworks at the same time as infrastructure projects are needed to link the Arab world.” “It is no longer acceptable that regional economic integration remains on the slow and hesitant track it has been on during the past, he concluded”.