From 2-4 April 2018, the Secretary General of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA travelled to Sao Paolo, Brazil to attend the Arab-Brazilian Forum and for a highly important coordinative meeting of the Secretaries General of the Joint-Arab Chambers of Commerce.
The Arab-Brazilian Forum was organized by the Arab Brazilian Chamber, together with the Union of Arab Chambers and with the support of the League of Arab States on 2 April 2018. Its topic was "Building the Future", proposing a reflection on how Brazil's relations with Arab countries can grow and strengthen in a sustainable way. The Forum was attended by a great number of officials, representatives and businesspeople from both, Brazil and the Arab countries.
On 3 April 2018, Eng. KHOUJA met with his counterparts, the Secretaries General of the Joint-Foreign Arab Chambers of Commerce, for a coordinative meeting held on the basis of the decision of the Council of the UAC to review and discuss the conditions of the Joint Chambers, and to identify the challenges and put forward views to address them. In preparation for the meeting, the UAC circulated a questionnaire that included all matters related to the Joint Chambers and their role and performance. The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce generously hosted the meeting in the newly refurbished premises of the chamber’s headquarters.
The meeting was honoured by the personal presence of the President of the Union of Arab Chambers (UAC), H.E. Senator Nael Al KABARITI, who opened the meeting and welcomed all attendees. Among them were H.E. Mr. Kamal Hassan ALI, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs at the League of Arab States; H.E. Dr. Khaled HANAFI, the Secretary General of the UAC; Ms. Hoda KACHTAN Director of Arab / Joint-Arab Chambers Affairs at UAC; the Secretary General of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers; and Secretaries General and representatives of the Joint-Foreign Arab Chambers of Commerce from Brazil, Austria, Britain, Belgium/Luxembourg, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Switzerland, and the United States.
After the opening session, the meeting was chaired by H.E. Dr. Khalid HANAFI, Secretary General of the Union, who indicated that the meeting was to monitor and evaluate the situation of the Joint Chambers in light of the results of the questionnaire sent by the General Secretariat of the Union and the responses received. He considered a brainstorming session to come out with a vision and suggestions for the work of the chambers, their role in the next stage, and how to deal with any challenges they face.
In the light of the in-depth and transparent discussions, and the views expressed by the participants, many recommendations given, including the following:
- The establishment of an electronic platform to serve as a virtual portal for communication and information exchange between the joint chambers, the Union of Arab Chambers and all related Arab chambers under its umbrella. In 2011, the AACC had first presented the initial idea and concept of such a platform. Further on this, it was agreed that the AACC, in cooperation with the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce was to prepare an executive proposal for the project, including a concept for the mobile application of this platform.
- The formulation of mechanisms for evaluating the work and performance of the joint chambers and their executives by indicating and assessing their achievements. The Secretary General of the AACC, Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA, was chosen to prepare a paper on this matter.