Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim: Private sector plays pivotal role in achieving the Gulf economic integration

23-12-2023

The Qatar Chamber (QC) hosted on Thursday December 21 the 63rd Board of Directors Meeting of the Federation of GCC Chambers (FGCCC) at the Sheraton Hotel.

The meeting was chaired by HE Hassan bin Muajab Al-Huwizi, President of the Federation of GCC Chambers (FGCCC) and President of Saudi Chambers of Commerce, in the presence of QC Chairman HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani and with the participation of  chairmen of GCC chambers and federations of chambers.

The Chamber’s delegation participating in the meeting included HE Rashid bin Hamad Al Athba, Second Vice-Chairman, and board members HE Sheikh Hamad bin Ahmed Al Thani, Ibtihaj Al Ahmadany, Eng. Ali bin Abdullatif Al Misnad, and Mohamed bin Ahmed Al Obaidli, as well as Ali bu Sherbak Al Mansouri, Deputy General Manager.

The meeting touched on many topics in connection with enhancing economic and trading links between the GCC states, in addition to revitalizing the role of the private sector in the Gulf economy, in a way that helps in maximising the intra-Gulf trade.

In his remarks, QC Chairman, HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani voiced his hope that the meeting would contribute to achieving objectives of the FGCCC, foremost of which is the enhancement of the Gulf private sector’s role in promoting prosperity, economic integration, and sustainable development.

HE Sheikh Khalifa also noted that the ongoing political and economic shifts affecting the global economy, coupled with the current geopolitical challenges and their impacts on GCC countries, have compelled us to redouble our efforts in enhancing economic, trade, and investment cooperation among our states.

HE emphasized that the GCC possesses significant potential and capabilities, in addition to a strong desire and will to achieve economic unity, both at the leadership and public levels.

HE stressed that the GCC owns all the potential to become a strong economic alliance capable of imposing itself on the global economic map, indicating that this is attributed to the natural resources it owns, and its distinctive geographical location, in addition to the robust relations with a multitude of global economic entities and alliances.

Sheikh Khalifa underscored the pivotal role of the Gulf private sector in fostering economic integration among member states, the significance of collaborative efforts between member chambers to support the Gulf private sector, strengthen alliances, and foster partnerships among Gulf firms.

Furthermore, he highlighted the importance of boosting cooperation between Gulf businessmen and activating mutual investments to boost Gulf intra-trade, which has exceeded $100 billion, appreciating efforts made by GCC countries for achieving the Gulf economic integration.

HE added: “In this regard, we appreciate the efforts made by our countries to achieve Gulf economic integration. We hope to witness increased cooperation between the public and private sectors within our nations, aiming to overcome any challenges that may hinder such integration. Additionally, we aspire to enhance investment incentives, empowering the Gulf private sector to play a crucial role in the comprehensive economic development of the Gulf region.”

QC Chairman affirmed the State of Qatar’s support for all Gulf efforts aimed at achieving Gulf economic integration, stressing that the Qatar Chamber looks forward to strengthening cooperation between the Qatari private sector and its counterparts in GCC countries.

For his part, HE Hassan bin Muajab Al-Huwizi, President of the Federation of GCC Chambers (FGCCC) and President of Saudi Chambers of Commerce, highlighted the numerous developments in Gulf economic affairs within the GCC. He noted the positive growth achieved by GCC countries, in which the private sector played a key role.

HE also pointed out that our countries have achieved higher rankings in various global indicators, including competitiveness. He affirmed that GCC countries are among the most important global economies, attracting both local and foreign investments and experiencing remarkable growth in promising sectors such as technology and tourism.

Al-Huwizi underscored that the FGCCC should capitalize on opportunities arising from the council’s visions, strengthen partnerships with concerned bodies in the GCC countries at the highest levels, and foster coordination with the GCC General Secretariat, aiming to empower the private sector and increase its contribution in the GCC GDP.

HE stressed that the FGCCC has closely collaborated with various Gulf governmental institutions, including the GCC General Secretariat. HE noted that this collaboration involves formulating economic policies by providing studies and reports that reflect the views of the Gulf private sector on economic issues. The FGCCC also actively participates in meetings and workshops organised by the GCC General Secretariat with member states to empower the private sector.Top of Form

Elaborating on the accomplishments of the FGCCC, Al-Huwizi indicated that it has successfully addressed 25 out of 58 topics discussed in the Consultative Meetings with the Ministers of Trade and Industry in GCC countries. Additionally, it has maintained ongoing participation with the GCC Customs Union Authority, among other achievements.

HE said that these achievements underscore the need for increased efforts to fulfill our responsibilities in the current phase, during which the GCC states aim to enhance integration in economic sectors and address common issues like industry, mining, tourism, renewable energy, local content, and others. He emphasized the significance of activating the strategy through which they aspire to lead in representing the Gulf private sector.

The meeting’s agenda included the approval of the previous meeting’s minutes, the announcement of the transition of the Federation’s Presidency to the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the 23rd session from February 10, 2024, to February 9, 2026.

The agenda also included the follow-up on resolutions from the 62nd meeting, the draft work programme of the General Secretariat of the Federation for 2024, and the draft estimated budget for 2024. Additionally, the meeting addressed the outcomes of the consultative meeting with Their Excellencies and the Ministers of Trade and Industry of the GCC countries.

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