More like 'Made in China'? Saudi Arabia, China reach agreement on 'Made in Makkah' Project
Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) Chairman Talal Mirza confirms that the chamber is moving forward on the "Made in Makkah Project" and has signed agreements with several authorities in different countries worldwide to gain the necessary technology required to run the project. The MCCI, which is working in partnership with the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), is expected to adopt the logo design for the project soon.
The MCCI has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chamber of Commerce and Projects for Muslims Organizations in the Chinese city of Xian, Mirza said.
Currently, the MCCI is also seriously considering a suggestion to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to study a proposal of establishing a specialized body to design logos for Makkah crafts, in addition to overseeing of an industrial zone specializing in industries and different products targeting the markets of the holy city during the Haj and Umrah seasons.
The memorandum of understanding recently signed was based on the sincere desire to consolidate and strengthen the bonds of friendship and economic cooperation between the two countries within the limits of the laws and regulations of each country and the international agreements that govern them, he said, adding that both countries are also seeking to effectively promote and further develop bilateral trade.
“From this agreement, which comes during our work with the JCCI to complete the Made in Makkah project, we aim to develop means to transfer technology and human resources for the benefit of the project,” he said. “We also aim to find a real environment for the establishment of joint ventures in the two countries to help achieve a common benefit for all.”
He added: “The agreement will explore ways of cooperation in organizing and establishing common events such as conferences, seminars, and trade fairs. Such cooperation would enhance and strengthen the economic relations between the two parties.”
Meanwhile, a trade delegation of top manufacturers in Makkah and Jeddah is being prepared to visit the Chinese city of Xian at the end of the first quarter of next year 2014. The delegation will have access to new mechanisms to help in producing high quality Saudi products efficiently at low prices and tools to help achieve the goal of working families and artisans that produce gift items in Makkah.
According to Mirza, official statistics confirm that the craft products in the domestic market bring in SR1.5 billion a year in sales profits, an amount that could potentially expand. The project will benefit from the presence of some 350,000 producing families in the region of Makkah, with estimated 170,000 of them in Jeddah alone, he added.
Abu Bakr Cheing Cheng, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Projects for Muslims Organization in Xian, said: “We aim through this agreement to build together a new bridge of connection and reach higher levels of exchange in the fields of economy, trade, industry, agriculture, construction, and enterprise development. We also aim to increase the exchange of culture, arts, education and vocational training.”
Cheng confirmed that the chamber, which was established in 2008, has enjoyed the support of the Chinese government since its inception, and has achieved significant accomplishments over the past five years. At this time, the chamber is seriously working to strengthen and deepen cooperation with Arab and Islamic countries by participating in numerous conferences and exhibitions.
Members of the chamber has undergone some business visits in different locations, through which they have presented products that are produced by entities that fall under their chamber, and worked on marketing such products internationally. Based on the positive responses, the chamber was able to reach agreements that will contribute to exporting large quantities of Chinese products to those countries.