(MENAFN - Arab News) Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah yesterday opened a major workshop for the development of Saudi commercial attaches as part of the ministry's efforts to promote trade and investment relations with foreign countries.
The workshop attended by top officials from related departments and agencies discussed ways to improve the performance of Saudi commercial attaches abroad to attract foreign investment and increase trade exchange with other countries.
Officials from the Foreign Ministry and other related government departments including Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO), Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon) and Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority attended the workshop.
On the sidelines of the workshop, the commercial attaches met with Assistant Foreign Minister Prince Khaled bin Saud bin Khaled and discussed cooperation between commercial attaches and Saudi embassies and consulates abroad to boost the Kingdom's economy and promote Saudi exports.
SASO Gov. Nabeel bin Ameen Mulla spoke about his organization's efforts to ensure the quality of Saudi products and imports from foreign countries and informing businessmen and exporters about the required Saudi standards.
Prince Saud bin Khaled Al-Faisal, deputy governor of SAGIA, gave a presentation on SAGIA's efforts to attract foreign investment and strengthen Saudi Arabia's competitiveness in international trade and urged commercial attaches to play an important role in attracting foreign investments to the Kingdom.
Majdi Al-Sahaf, director of marketing and relations at Modon, spoke on his organization's role in boosting the Kingdom's industrial sector and transferring industrial technology. He requested commercial attaches to promote industrial investment.
Saudi Arabia has 13 commercial attaches in Washington, London, Geneva, Istanbul, Rome, Beijing, Islamabad, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Tehran, Cairo, Beirut and Sanaa. The ministry has plans to open new commercial attaches in other countries.
The commercial attaches are supposed to conduct studies on foreign markets, changes in rules and laws of host countries, trade and export restrictions and inform Saudi exporters about latest developments in their markets.
They also translate foreign trade laws into Arabic language and send them to the ministry and provide information about economic and commercial activities in various countries and support organization of trade exhibitions.
They will also make arrangements for the visit of foreign trade delegations, prepare specialized commercial, financial and economic reports, provide consultancy services for marketing Saudi products in their countries, implement bilateral trade agreements.
A number of businessmen and representatives of different government departments also attended the workshop.
Meanwhile, Al-Rabiah will open a group of industries at the industrial city in Madinah today. Saleh Al-Rashid, director general of Modon, will attend the ceremony.
The new industries include Taiba Printing & Publishing Company, Anhar Water Company, Faroos Glass Company, Madinah Cable Factory, Taiba Carpet Factory, Essam Al-Hilali Plastic Factory, Maadin Magnesium Company and Wadi Ridan Concrete Co.
In a statement on the occasion, Al-Rabiah commended Modon's efforts to develop infrastructure facilities in Madinah Industrial City and expand it to accommodate more industries. "Madinah Industrial City is a success story. Four years ago there were only four industries and now there are 101 operating industries in addition to 58 projects under construction," he said.
He said it is one of the fastest growing industrial cities in the Kingdom with 90 percent of its space already been occupied.
Al-Rashid said Modon has spent more than SR172 million on the development of Madinah Industrial City during the past four years. The city was established in 2003 on an area of 10 million square meters and is located in Hamra Al-Assad, 17 km northwest of Madinah, west of Hijrah-Makkah Road and 190 km away from Yanbu Industrial Port on the Red Sea.