The Fifth Joint Meeting of the RABC was held in the capital of Saudi Arabia, Er-Riyadh, from February 28th to March 1st, under the patronage of Hashim Yamani, the Minister of Trade and Industry of KSA, who opened the plenary session with a report on the state of Russian-Saudi trade relations.
The heads of delegations participating in a large Russian-Arab forum were received at the Al-Yamamah Palace by the King of Saudi Arabia — Abdullah. The King welcomed the participants of the meeting on the Saudi Arabian land and praised the RABC activities wishing success to the forum participants.
Aslambek Aslakhanov, the Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation — headed the Russian delegation at the forum.
The delegation included: Tatyana Gvilava, the Director of the RABC, Advisor to the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Sergey Cheremin, Vice-President of JSFC «Sistema», Evgeny Gudzenchuk, the General Director of OJSC «Zarubezhvodstroy», Co-Chairman of the Russian-Yemen Business Council, Abdul-Vahed Niyazov, the President of the Islamic Cultural Center, Alexander Arutyunov, the President of OJSC «VAO-Intourist», Co-Chairman of the Russian-Oman Business Council, Ahmet Palankoev, the President of «Acropolis Commercial Bank» Ltd., Timur Timerbulatov, the President of «Konti Group of Companies», Irina Kireeva, the Chairman of the Directors Board of OJSC JSCB «Rossiskiy Kapital», and many other representatives of the leading Russian companies and holding companies.
Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, sent greetings to the RABC participants of the fifth joint meeting. He called the development of relations with the Arab countries a significant vector of the Russian foreign policy and noted the importance of strengthening direct contacts among business communities.
The development of multifaceted relations with Arab countries has always been and remains a significant vector of Russia’s foreign policy. An important role here belongs to the strengthening of direct contacts of the Russian business community with the Arab partners, these connections are consistently expanding with the Council active assistance. It has a beneficial effect on the expansion of economic interaction — from year to year it becomes more and more dynamic and substantial. I am confident that the Russian-Arab Business Council will continue to provide substantial assistance in promoting economic partnership, and will contribute in general to the development of constructive Russian-Arab cooperation
The following Arab officials took part in the session: Hashim Yamani, the Minister of Commerce and Industry of Saudi Arabia, Abdurrahman Rashid Ar-Rashid the Chairman of Saudi Arabian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Council, the Chairman of the RADS Arab Department; Tariq Abdel Hadi Al-Kahtani, the Chairman of the Saudi Department of the Russian-Saudi Business Council; Ilyas Gantus, the General Secretary of the General Union of the Arab Chambers, Adnan Kassar, the President of the General Union of the commercial, industrial, and agricultural chambers of the Arab countries, Jacques Sarraf, the President of «Malia» Holding, Co-Chairman of the Lebanese-Russian Business Council, Khaled Abu Ismail, the President of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, Ibrahim Kamil, the President of Egyptian company «KATO Investment», Saleh Al-Mallah, the Deputy Chairman of the Federation of Syria Chambers of Commerce,Yusef Abdelwadud, the Chairman of the Yemeni Department of the Russian-Yemen Business Council, as well as the representatives of the Arab companies interested in entering Russian markets.
Hashim Yamani, the Minister of Trade and Industry of KSA, speaking at the opening of the 5th meeting of the RABC, stressed the importance of building partnership by creating the Russian-Arab investment fund with joint capital for investing in industry, agriculture, and services sector in Russia and the Arab countries. The minister noted, that Russia had considerable potential for developing fruitful cooperation with the Arab countries. «It’s not a secret to anyone that joint business councils are of great importance at the local, regional, and international levels for the development of all sectors of the economy, and the RABC is one of the effective tools for supporting trade and investment cooperation between Russia and the Arab the world. The governments of our countries rely on it greatly in the sphere of such cooperation development for the benefit of our countries peoples,» the Saudi minister stressed.
Within the forum the meetings of the Russian-Saudi, Russian-Lebanese, Russian-Omani, and Russian-Yemeni business councils took place. A meeting of women entrepreneurs of Russia and Saudi Arabia was held. The representatives of the business circles of Russia and the Arab countries had the opportunity to organize bilateral meetings and talks at which the issues of developing mutually beneficial relations were discussed. Following the meeting, a Final Communiqué was adopted.