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The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Tawfiq Fuzan Al-Rubi'a, has announced that coordination is almost complete between the Ministry and several agencies involved in the national industry, regarding setting up the "SAUDI EXPORTS". This Authority will be established as stipulated by a royal decree. Preparations included defining technical and administrative matters. He noted that the Authority will be run by qualified specialist staff so that it could play a significant role in serving the Saudi industry and exports.
Once it is formed, Dr. Al-Rubi'a said, the Authority will be one of the important factors that effectively contribute to raising the export rates of Saudi goods and products to various markets.
The Minister was talking during a workshop on "Exports Development" organized yesterday by the Exports Committee in Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry under the auspices of the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON). The workshop was also attended by several agencies from public and private sectors, as well as some of investors interested in the industrial sector. The workshop discussed topics related to financing exports and stimuli of exports, and the regulations and procedures related to the export process, in addition to the issue of exports guarantees and facilities.
The Director General of MODON, Engineer Saleh Al-Rasheed, explained that the Authority is currently working with a specialized company to study a proposal for the establishment of free zones in the Kingdom. He pointed out that these areas will be one of the real methods to increase re-exports. Engineer Saleh added that the climate is now set for the development of exports to achieve a boom in exports to overseas markets after the application of a number of agreements, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, Agreement to Facilitate and Develop Trade among Arab States (Customs facilitation) and the decision to create an Authority for exports, which was accompanied by updating systems and concepts related to export. He pointed out that qualifying the exporters is needed.
He also indicated that MODON has suggested many initiatives and cooperated with many parties in order to encourage factories to increase their productive exports through development of logistics services including attracting shipping companies, specialized in storage and transport to ensure the transport and export activities. He noted that a contract was signed with a specialized container company to create a yard for containers in the Second Industrial City in Riyadh to make it available for the plants wishing to export and that "MODON" linked its activities with the industrial cities and Saudi ports to facilitate import and export procedures.
On his part, the Director General of Customs at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh, Suleiman Al-Tuwaijri, the urged export companies and chambers of commerce to coordinate their roles. In a research paper presented at the workshop, he pointed out that this role is still missing from the organizational and procedural process in customs. He said that role that the chambers of commerce can play, will be able to cover flaws of the Customs' small capacity compared to the massive actions carried out by MODON through the establishment of a coordinating office that can be handled by Riyadh Chamber. This office will be the controller for every procedure that must be performed by businessmen. These coordinating offices can be connected with the customs clearance officers.
Al-Tuwaijri stressed the importance of the chambers' coordinating offices in dealing with other parties associated with the customs clearance, including ports, controls, procedures and laws. He pointed out that the Customs deal with thousands of exporters, which necessitates creating an agency that can be in charge of many regulations and controls. This will have positive returns in terms of reducing the volume of business and time loss from which the business sector is suffering.
During the workshop, a briefing on the Exports Committee at Riyadh Chamber was presented by Abdullah Al-Faris who confirmed that volume of Saudi exports is undergoing relative increase one year after another. This confirms the ability of Saudi exports to compete with the largest economies of the industrialized nations. He pointed out that the GCC countries import 21% of the Saudi products, while Asian, Arab and Muslim countries import 35%, the European Union 12%, other Arab League countries 14%, Muslim and non-Arab countries 10%, and other world countries 8%.
On his part, Chairman of the Export Development Committee in Riyadh, Fahd Al-Thunayyan, explained that the government's interest in the export sector puts exporters before the challenge of finding integration that enhances role of government services provided to achieve the desired objectives. He noted that the Chamber, through its Exports Committee, attaches great importance to address issues of the sector, work to resolve them and equip exports with competitive and global foundations.
Many working papers were presented at the workshop. adviser of the exports financing and insuring program at the Saudi Development Fund, Musaed Al-Miqrin, presented one working paper, while engineer Abdulsalam Al-Mazru' presented another working paper on the current orientation to enter new and emerging markets.
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