São Paulo – The Arab-British Chamber of Commerce CEO Bandar Reda (pictured, L) called a success the Arab British Economic Summit (ABES) held last Wednesday (3) in London, England. “There were approximately 700 people attending,” he told ANBA this Thursday (4) on the phone.
He highlighted the presence of important leaders from the Middle East and North Africa and the United Kingdom, including the League of Arab States secretary-general Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) secretary-general Abdulatif Bin Rashid Al Zayani, the British minister of State for Trade Policy Minister of State for Trade Policy, and the Lord Mayor of the City of London Peter Estling, who is the leader of the City of London Corporation.
Reda also stressed the participation of Arab ambassadors to the UK and some of the leading business leaders of the Arab world. “Most of the Arab countries sent delegations,” he said.
Brazil was represented by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, which sent its president Rubens Hannun (pictured, R) and Marketing vice-president Riad Younes. The Arab Brazilian Chamber also had a stand at the summit.
“We’re very honored to receive [Arab Brazilian Chamber] Mr. president and delegation. This approximation between us is a great achievement,” he said. “Now it’ll be our turn to pay it back,” he added. He plans to participate in the next Brazil-Arab Countries Economic Forum that the Arab Brazilian Chamber will hold in April 2020.
For Reda, there are possibilities for cooperation between the two chambers of commerce that may yield new business opportunities for their members.
The themes discussed at the Arab British conference, he stressed panels about information technology, the banking sector, agriculture, and youth, areas of great interest for the Arab world.
The IT industry has been greatly explored in the Middle East, while agriculture is a major concern, given the water shortage in the region, and the young people are the majority of the Arab population, around 60-70%, depending on the country. “And it’s important to have a way to finance it all,” he said.
The UK has a significant volume of trade with the Arab world. According to the International Trade Centre (ITC), the British exported USD 25.6 billion to the Arabs in 2018, down 5.1% from 2017. The main products shipped were aircraft turbines, cars, gold, jewels, and aeronautic components. The largest markets are the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, and Oman.
On the other hand, the Arabs sold USD 13.16 billion in products to UK last year, up 14.3% from 2017. The main items traded were oil and oil products, machinery and electric equipment, plastic, clothes and accessories, and vehicles. The major suppliers are Algeria, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, and Egypt.
Translated by Guilherme Miranda