In recognition of the magnitude and importance of a global initiative being launched in Asia by Asian countries, the League of Arab States (LAS) signed a major strategic partnership with the Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics (GCEL) to help Arab governments race to address job creation and sustain economic growth.
At a ceremony at LAS headquarters, the two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that makes LAS a strategic partner to implement in the MEA regiona new 21st century digital trade platform through GCEL’s bold HumaWealth Program. This global initiative is being led in Asia by India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The MoU will serve as a framework for a new cooperative relationship aimed at providing a tangible economic program to drive economic progress across the region. The HumaWealth Program will provide the tools and road map to increase Euro-Med trade by USD 389 billion, and support up to 40 million jobs, helping the region’s businesses prosper, including small, medium sized enterprises (SMEs), all at no cost to businesses and governments.
The MoU was signed by HE Mohamed Al-Twaijri, Deputy Secretary General for Economic Affairs for the LAS, and Dr. Mark Drabenstott, Secretary General of GCEL. Ambassador Al-Twaijri said, “This agreement could not come at a perfect time for this region. As never before, we must find ways to use the power of innovation to drive economic progress and put the region’s youth to work.”
In discussions prior to the signing, Ambassador Al-Twaijri and Dr. Drabenstott stressed the economic benefits to the region from triggering the HumaWealth program. They both agreed that HumaWealth triggers a quantum leap in trade efficiency, providing a powerful catalyst the region needs to rebalance trade and expand its industrial might. The catalyst represents an economic “game-changer” by lowering landed import and export costs from 11% to the prior world average 6% thereby saving USD 356 billion annually throughout the entire Euro-Med region.
GCEL’s Co-ChairmanCaptain Samuel Salloum highlighted: “This is unlike any other initiative. The MEA region holds the key to sustainable economic growth and trade rebalancing in the Euro-Med as its strengths represent an important part of the solution for the region’s economic vitality.”
“The trade rebalancing must take into account how we best connect the buying power of Europe with the considerable capacity to expand production in the south Med and MEA region,” said Ambassador Al-Twaijri. “Obviously, the new jobs that result are vital to the region’s future.”
The GCEL-LAS framework will have three key stages. First, the two parties will work together to improve the region’s understanding of the HumaWealth program through a series of Awareness Events across the Middle East and Africa. This follows GCEL’s highly successful awareness campaign across Asia that concluded late last year. Second, GCEL and LAS agreed to partner to trigger the Euro-Med Benchmark Trade Lane, representing deployment of the new digital trade platform in the region. Finally, LAS agreed to participate in GCEL’s global R&D program, a major initiative aimed at improving well-being by investing in such areas as economic development, trade development and SME prosperity.
Dr. Drabenstott noted: “This MOU reflects GCEL’s commitment to make sure HumaWealth benefits all corners of the world. We believe HumaWealth represents a tangible catalyst to economic progress, and we are honored to have LAS as a strategic partner to trigger our program in a region that can realize huge economic benefits from it.”
HumaWealth will also maximize both the efficiency and security of trade between LAS member countries as well as open a vast new market for the region’s finance, insurance, and technology industries, a market projected to reach USD 6 trillion by 2020.
This MoU and the mentioned series of events will pave the way to sculpture economic landmarks such as increased trade, massive job creation, credit risk mitigation,as well as enormous trade andoperations cost savings. It is with no doubt that HumaWealth marks a golden opportunity for leaders in the area to take a regional level leadership role to enhance and build capacities for SMEs that are regarded as the economic backbone of our civil society.