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Gulf Economic Forum to boost economic integration in the region

The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) Chambers of Commerce Union’s Secretariat and the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) are organizing the 2nd edition of the Gulf Economic Forum (GEF), under the patronage of Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi.
The event will be held in Riyadh on Oct. 21-22, with a broad participation of government officials, business owners and economy leaders from the Gulf states.
Mohammed Thani Murshed Al-Rumaithi, chairman of the GCC Chambers of Commerce Union, said: “The Gulf Economic Forum comes in the context of the efforts exerted by the GCC countries’ governments and their private sectors to strengthen economic cooperation.
“A large number of high-level Gulf ministers and officials in the sectors of investment, customs, capital markets, trade and another economic field will take part in the forum. This will boost the forum’s activities and help deliver effective decisions and recommendations that support the joint Gulf economy.
“The GCC leaders’ keenness to involve the Gulf private sector in relevant laws and decisions is of great value. This support and political will should be invested in the development of the business environment in the Gulf countries.”
Dr. Sami bin Abdullah Al-Obaidi, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers, said: “The second Gulf Economic Forum is one of the important economic activities in the Gulf region. It discusses the activation of economic cooperation, the acceleration of the integration’s pace, the strengthening of the private sector’s role in the sustainable development process and allowing the Gulf business sector to increase its contribution to development projects.
“This forum will hopefully come up with strong and effective recommendations that will help overcome the main challenges facing the process of unity and economic integration in the Gulf.”
He also highlighted the importance of the topics to be discussed in the forum. “They include the Gulf Customs Union, which is the main pillar in the development of intra-GCC trade, cybersecurity, industrial cities, free trade zones, in addition to the logistics services sector and its significance in the GCC countries’ economies. Saudi Arabia relies a lot on the logistics services sector in the diversification of its sources of income, which come in line with its 2030 Vision.”
During the forum, a number of economic officials, experts and researchers from the Gulf will discuss six main subjects. The first session will take on the logistics services industry in each of the GCC countries and the role these services play in the development of the countries’ economies, while the second session will talk about the Gulf Customs Union’s progress, its achievements and the challenges facing its activation.
The third session will tackle the role trading plays in the logistics services in the GCC countries, in addition to the impact of value-added tax and the selective commodity tax on the growth of the trade sector in the Gulf.
The investment opportunities in the logistics services sector available in the GCC countries and their challenges will be the focus of the forum’s fourth session.
The forum will discuss the role of industrial cities and existing free trade zones and the support they are providing to the logistics services sector in its fifth session.
The sixth and last session will focus on the importance of quality, consumer protection, the improvement of trade exchange between the GCC countries and cybersecurity.
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