The Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry is organizing, with the supervision and management of INDEX Conferences & Exhibitions Organization, four economic forums during the period April 24th till June 9th 2007, as announced by His Excellency Sultan Abdullah Sultan, Secretary General of the FCCI.
These forums are scheduled as follows:
- UAE – Japan Business Forum: 24 – 26 April 2007, Tokyo, Japan.
- Emirates – Germany Business Summit: 8 – 10 May 2007, Frankfurt, Germany.
- The UAE – Saudi Economic Forum: 13 – 14 May 2007, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
- UAE – Korea Business Investment Opportunities Exhibition: 7 – 9 June 2007, Seoul, Korea.
Abdullah mentioned that these forums are subsidized and supported by the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Finance and Industry, the chambers of commerce in the UAE, the tourism authorities, the Planning and Economic Authority of Abu Dhabi, and the UAE embassies in each of Tokyo, Berlin, Riyadh, and Seoul. In addition, official support is also provided by authorities and government bodies in the hosting countries. Sheikha Lunba Bint Khaled al Qassimi, the Minister of the Economy, is to present the opening speech at each of the Tokyo, Frankfurt, Riyadh, and Seoul forums.
The FCCI will participate in the Federation of GCC Chambers' (FGCCC) council meeting and in the joint meeting between the council members, the FGCCC's Secretariat General and the GCC Secretariat General. The meeting will be held on April 1st and April 2nd 2007 in the Kingdom of Bahrain in the Gulf International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The FCCI representatives will be: H.E Salah Salem Ben Omeir Al Shamsi, president of the Gulf Chambers, the FCCI president, H.E. Ali Khammas, FCCI member and president of Fujeirah Chamber, H.E Chahine Ali Chahine, FCCI assistant secretary general, and H.E. Ahmed Hassan Al Mansouri, vice-president of Abu Dhabi Chamber.
Al Shamsi said that these meetings are to constitute essential mechanisms for economic cooperation and coordination between gulf countries through the different issues that will be raised. He stressed the importance of progress in teamwork between the GCC chambers.
The topics to be discussed will cover areas of cooperation with specialized regional and international corporations in order to benefit from their technical and financial expertise, the discussion of the FGCCC secretariat general current annual program, the committees future meetings and activities, in addition to other topics.
During a meeting that was held at the FCCI premises between Abdullah Sultan Abdullah, the FCCI secretary General, and Mr. Yushio Minaji, manager of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Sultan stressed the UAE's liberal and stable economy has led the UAE to strengthen its commercial relationships with other countries.
Sultan mentioned that the UAE occupies a leading positioning the global economy, and it is also playing this strategic role through the GCC that is currently working on uniting its economic activities.
Ways of increasing bilateral trade between the UAE and Japan, increasing official delegations visits, information supply on investment climate and the types of goods that could traded were among the issues discussed.
The meeting also tackled on the preparation for the UAE – Japan business forum organized by the FCCI and that will be held from April 24th till April 26th 2007 in Tokyo – Japan.
As for bilateral trade between the UAE and Japan, it is expected to jump to 41 billion USD (around 150.46 billion Dirham). UAE exports to Japan are expected to increase to 35 billion USD (around 128.4 billion Dirham, majority oil exports) and Japan exports to UAE are expected to increase to 6 billion USD (around 22.02 billion Dirham).
Finally, it is worth noting that the UAE is the primary regional trade partner for Japan. Bilateral trade has increased from 22.9 billion USD (around 84.04 billion Dirham) in 2004 to 30.1 billion USD (110.4 billon Dirham) in 2005, with a growth rate of 31.6%. As for UAE exports to Japan in 2005, hey amounted 25.3 billion USD (around 92.85 billion Dirham) and imports from Japan amounted 4.86 billion USD (around 17.87 billion Dirham).
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and in collaboration with the FCCI, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the General Union of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries, the UAE will host the 39th conference for the Union of Arab Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, entitled " For an Effective Arab Public Sector in Investment and Development", on May 2nd and May 3rd 2007.
The 103rd Council meeting of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture was held lately in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. At the end of the meeting, Mr. Shalah Bin Salem al Shamsi, president of the FCCI and of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced the above upcoming event. He said that the UAE's hospitality of this conference emanates from Sheikh Khalifa's adherence to strengthen economic ties and enhance cooperation between Arab countries. Sheikha Lubna bint Khaled Al Qassimi will be an honorary guest of the conference, in addition to many prominent personages.
The FCCI delegation to the 103rd Council meeting comprised, in addition to Al Shamsi, Said Ali Khammas, FCCI board member and president of Fujeirah Chamber, Dr. Rawda Al Mutawa'a, second vice-president of Abu Dhabi Chamber and president of the Emirates Businesswomen Council, and Chahine Ali Chahine, the FCCI Asssitant Secretary General.
This meeting discussed the Grand Arab Trade Zone's issue and its role in consolidating competitiveness in the Arab industry through a new industrial developmental strategy, under the private sector leadership.
Among other issues discussed were the obstacles facing trade between Arab countries, solidarity with Lebanon, the preparations regarding the 6th meeting for the Arab Chinese Chamber of Commerce (to be held in October 2007), the Arab Japanese Economic Forum (Tunisia), Bahrain's preperations to host the Arab Russian Council's 7th meeting, the suggestion of call for an Arab Economic Forum in Barcelona (Spain), in addition to establishing and Arab Spanish Chamber of Commerce. The meeting also discussed the 39th conference for the Union of Arab Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.
Finally, the meeting discussed a report concerning the Union's activities during the year 2006 and the upcoming activities for the current year 2007.
The FCCI, with the collaboration of the Middle East Newspaper and the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, organizes the Saudi – UAE Economic Forum that will be held in Al Riyadh from May 13th till May 14th 2007, under the patronage of H.H Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Prince of Al Riyadh.
Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khaled Al Qassimi, the UAE Minister of Economy will head the UAE delegation.
His Excellency Eng. Salah Ben Omeir Al Shamsi – president of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and president of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry – said that the FCCI always seeks to develop and diversify means of collaboration with GCC countries, and these businessmen meetings constitute one of these means. This forum comes after the successful joint economic forums that were previously held with other countries and their productive outcomes.
The above mentioned forum will consist of two main sessions. The first one, entitled " Strengthening Trade between the two Countries", will tackle 4 areas: the government role in creating a healthy environment for dual trade, the role of the private sector in minimizing trade barriers, the role of trade between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in strengthening the Gulf Economy, and finally the case of one Saudi project's experience in the UAE.
The second session entitled "Future Investments Horizons", will also deal with four issues: the means for ensuring a balanced investment system under the existence of different investment systems in both countries, the economic regulations and the available investment opportunities, the most appealing domains for investment in the region in the following decade, and at last a case presentation of a UAE Project in Saudi Arabia.
As a final note, the relationship between the UAE and Saudi Arabia has existed for long and is continuously and increasingly strengthening. For instance, trade statistics indicate that Saudi imports to the UAE represent 46% of total UAE imports from other Arab countries.
The FCCI participated in a seminar on Emiratisation organized by the Institute of Administrative Development and the Civil Service Council (CSC) under the patronage of His Excellency Engineer Sultan Ben Said Al Mansouri, minister of the UAE Ministry of Governmental Sector Development, and president of the CSC.
Al Mansouri said that the Emiratisation issue is being dealt with as an integrated strategy nationwide. In addition, the past three years have witnessed considerable efforts from local governments and there has been a suggestion to create Emiratisation prizes. Further, he mentioned that Emiratisation constitutes a strategic goal for all of the UAE bodies.
Integrated Strategy for Development
At the start, Al Mansouri said that the seminar is aligned with the UAE federal government authorities' efforts to build an integrated strategy for development, as per the guidance of H.H Sheikh Khalifa Ben Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE President, and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Ben Rashed Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice-President and ruler of Dubai and the members of the Federal Supreme Council, rulers of the emirates.
He notified that Emiratisation does not mean permitting unskilled national human resources instead of skilled ones, and it does not accept lowering productivity and diminishing performance, but rather, it means providing the governmental sector with skilled, trained, and productive national human resources.
Second Line Plan
Dr. Ali Ben Abboud, the UAE Ministry of Governmental Sector Development's undersecretary, discussed the ministry plan for human resources development and for the second line plan, and shed light on the Emiratisation current state and plans. In addition, he specified the obstacles facing Emiratisation in the CSC.
Furthermore, he stressed on the lack of ability of the human resource management in the ministries and the federal authorities to put specific and studied plans. He added that failure encompasses also training systems, the CSC job selection systems, and lack of compliance salary and bonus in the federal government as compared with local governments. He also mentioned the lack of programs to transmit expatriate expertise, in addition to the lack of clarity in career paths for the various Civil Security jobs.
Expatriates Jobs Expansion
His Excellency Sultan Ahmed Al Ghaith, general manager of the General Authority for Pensions and Social Security headed the seminar where four working papers were presented.
Speakers and attendants got into expanding expatriates services. In addition, they mentioned that speeches to the Human Resource Development Authority to the ministries concerning Emiratisation of skillful human resource were only applied in the ministry of health, pointing out that Emiratisation in the private sector does not exceed one to ten thousands. In addition, participants asked for the activation of the human resource management.
The working papers presented during the seminar analyzed the UAE human development index, population diversification, and the impact of social and demographic composition of expatriates on that of the nationals'.
The Omani Experience
Ms. Fadda Lootah, acting general manager of TANMIA institute, said that the economic, social, and political advancements that the UAE has been witnessing lately have led to an unexpected capital accumulation. This has led to the creation of various developmental projects that required qualitative and quantitative manpower that was not available at that time. Consequently, workers from outside the UAE flowed. She warned that the demographical map of the UAE has changed substantially: expatriates currently represent 80% of the total population, as per the year 200 census.
Additionally, she indicated that the employment problem in the UAE is unique, nationals constitute a minority in the workforce and still they do not find employment opportunities.
Ms. Faten Abdul Razzak Naghawi, manager of the Omanisation division in the Omani ministry of civil service, closed the discussion with the Omani example on the "Omanisation" of the civil service sector in Oman. She presented nationalization plans in the Sultanate, indicating that the number of non-Omani employees in the before mentioned sector as per December 31st, 2006 reached 15,816, concentrated in medicine, public health and the related professions.