By: Mohammed Osman
Kuwait city (sudanow)- Increasing engagements and partnerships between African and the Arab private sectors is essential for unleashing the potentials of Africa and the Arab regions and redesigning their positions within the new global economy.
This was the focus of the First Africa-Arab Investment Forum, which held today 18th November 2013, at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Headquarters, under the theme: “Unleashing Business and Investment Opportunities between the Arab and African Regions”.
Organized by the Diwan Amiri of Kuwait, Direct Aid Society of Kuwait and the African Union Commission (AUC), the forum aimed at highlighting opportunities in both regions and promoting collaboration between AU Member States, the Arab region and the world at large, the AU said in a press release received on Monday.
Representing the host country, Hon. Mr. Anas Al Saleh, Minister of Commerce of the Government of Kuwait, said in his keynote speech to the forum that regardless of the challenges and difficulties the African continent has been facing in the past five years, it contains promising opportunities for investors .
The Minister emphasized on the importance of this symposium and said it is an opportunity to achieve an effective partnership between the private and public sector in supporting the efforts of reconstruction and rehabilitation on the African continent at every level
Chief of Staff of the African Union Commission, Amb. Jean Baptiste Natama stressed on the importance of enhancing economic cooperation and trade, to realize mutual benefit and win-win progress.
The strong economic complementarily between Africa and Arab regions offers us broad prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation", he said.
He welcomed all who wish to support the Africa's development priorities such as development of infrastructure, adding value to raw materials, regional integration, capacity building and human resources development.
The Chief of Staff concluded his speech by inviting all African and Arab businessmen and businesswomen to support the formation of a platform for meaningful engagement between the Africa and Arab business sectors.
The First Africa-Arab Investment forum brought the African and Arab business communities on one platform with a view to exploring business opportunities, challenges to attracting greater investment and overcoming barriers to investment between the African and Arab region. The forum also focused on how the private sector actors from both sides can forge sustainable partnerships to enhance trade and investment relations between the two sides, to the mutual benefit of both.
Organized as a sideline event of the 3rd Arab- Africa Summit, scheduled to be held in Kuwait, from 19 - 20 November 2013, the forum, to be held annually, is one of the main objectives of the Summit and its endorsed Joint Action Plan, which proposes that an Africa and Arab Business and Investment Forum be operationalized.
The Forum was attended by various stakeholders from Africa and Arab regions including; ministers, senior government officials, Regional Economic Communities, chambers of commerce, international business leaders with current and potential investment in Africa, international organizations and multilateral agencies, investment promotion agencies, leading international and local media, and Business Councils
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