GCEL-led initiative to have positive impact on economy

Waleed Al-Wohaibi CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and GCEL Co-Chairman Samuel Salloum sign the memorandum of understanding at the headquarters of the CSC in Riyadh on Thursday

With the launch of a study on trade efficiency in the Kingdom and shelf-to-shelf shipping of Saudi exports, the Kingdom joined the global initiative concerning implementing digital economy in trade exchange around the world.

The initiative is led by the Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics (GCEL), which includes more than 156 governments and 21 government and non-government organizations and leading companies in the fields of finance, insurance and technology that collectively serve approximately 60 percent of global GDP.

The Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) hosted the launching of a study on trade efficiency in the Kingdom, which was conducted by GCEL in cooperation with the CSC, the economic sector in the General Secretariat of League of Arab States and a number of public and private bodies in the Kingdom.

A memorandum of understanding was also signed between Waleed Al-Wohaibi, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), and GCEL Co-Chairman Captain Samuel Salloum in the presence of a large gathering at the CSC headquarters.

“The Kingdom is set to implement this initiative as part of its economic position as a G20 member. The study offers deep analyses on challenges hindering the Kingdom from achieving trade efficiency, and aims at enhancing digital economy by offering recommendations that could help toward achieving it,” Khaled Al-Otaibi, secretary general of the CSC, said during a presentation held in Riyadh on Thursday.

The implementation of the initiative is expected to have a positive impact on the Saudi economy, which entails lowering trade exchange costs, which will save an annual sum of $4.1 million, as well as lowering average operation costs by up to 15 percent, he said.

This is in addition to enhancing the growth of trade institutions by promoting opportunities of bank financing, and increasing revenues of institutions and expanding their exports by opening new channels of communication with clients from across the Kingdom and around the world, he added.

The study comes as part of the Kingdom’s plans to enhance the performance of its business sector and allow it the opportunity to have competitiveness and relations in the global markets. The study provides a realistic diagnosis of the lack of efficiency as regards supply chains, from production through distribution, which could be enhanced by adopting new technologies that will also help lessen trade exchange costs in the Kingdom.

Al-Otaibi said that benefits of implementing such a study would include efficiency, transparency and would also integrate global financial services.

He also said it is a major move toward enhancing the economic development process in the Kingdom as well as its position in world economy as the study aims at reducing costs of trade exchange in the world by $ 700 billion and increasing trade growth by $ 1.6 billion in addition to creating over 32 million jobs worldwide.

CSC Chairman Abdulrahman Al-Zamil explained that along the process, GCEL has evaluated trade efficiency in the Kingdom based on standard, which include merger, methodologies, electronic documentation, tracking and availability of information, efficient and safe shipping.

The study comes as part of the efforts to enhance the business sector’s performance in the Kingdom and to promote its presence and competitiveness in global markets, as well as to open new channels in global markets in the fields of trade finance, insurance and technology.

The study also aims at providing a realistic diagnosis of cases of lack of efficiency as regards supply chains from production through distribution, which could be enhanced by adopting means of new technology and in turn, reducing costs of trade exchange in the Kingdom.

A number of regional and global agencies partook in implementing the study, including the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, League of Arab States, Saudi Ministry of Commerce, Saudi Customs, King Saud University, Frost and Sullivan, and Nielsen, aside from the CSC.

The study included holding several meetings with officials of the public and private sectors and collecting a large bulk of economic information.





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