(MENAFN - Arab News) Business leaders from Saudi Arabia and other five GCC countries will meet in the southern tourist city of Abha on Sunday to discuss ways of strengthening trade and investment ties and prospects of setting up joint projects in tourism, health, minerals and other key industries.
Abdullah Al-Mubti, president of the Council of Saudi Chambers and Abha Chamber, welcomed the business delegations from the six GCC states and emphasized his chamber's desire to establish giant projects in the region with the participation of GCC investors.
"We'll present a spate of vital investment opportunities in the region to the GCC delegates attending the meeting," he said.
Al-Mubti emphasized the role played by Abha Chamber in establishing a special agency for tourism development, and commended the role being played by Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, to boost domestic tourism.
Referring to the chamber's efforts to promote industries in the region, he said: "Land has been allocated for the establishment of a second industrial city, which will be developed in the last quarter of 2014."
There are 213 industries with 19,000 workers in the Asir region involving a total capital investment of SR4.8 billion. The region makes an annual revenue of SR2.4 billion from tourism, Al-Mubti said.
According to Abdul Rahman Al-Ahmary, secretary-general of Abha Chamber, the Abha meeting aims at enlightening GCC business leaders about growing business opportunities in the region.
The chamber has made arrangements to provide visiting GCC businessmen and businesswomen necessary information about the region's investment potential and opportunities.
"The meeting offers a golden opportunity to promote Asir region as a major center for investment," said
Abdul Aziz Al-Muthami, executive director of the Asir Investment Council.
He said the council would provide all support and facilities to businessmen and businesswomen intending to invest in the region in coordination with other government departments.
"The entry of Gulf funds to Asir will boost the region's economic development and its tourism, trade and investment activities," he said, adding that it would also create more jobs for citizens.
He said the region's natural resources would attract more investment in the tourism sector, especially to establish hotels, recreation centers, shopping facilities and other tourism projects.
Abdullah Matain, director of SCTA in Asir, said the meeting would support the governorate's drive to make Asir a leading tourism center in the Kingdom.
He also emphasized prospects of tourism exchange between the GCC states.
Abdullah Al-Romaih, a businessman, said there are good prospects for investment in industry, minerals, tourism, fisheries, trade and health. "The government should provide greater incentives and facilities to investors to make Asir an attractive place for investors and industrialists," he added.