Saudi Arabia seeks to realize economic diversification, increase trade exchange with Islamic countries

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organization (SASO) Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi has stressed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s intention to move forward towards economic diversification and increasing trade exchange with Islamic and friendly countries to ensure stable and balanced economic growth.

He also voiced the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s aspiration to translate the efforts of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC) and other Islamic institutions concerned with standards and quality to contribute to developing the industry and increasing the level of trade exchange to the envisioned level that meets the aspirations and ambitions of Islamic leaders and peoples.

Dr. Al-Qasabi delivered his speech at the inaugural session of the meetings of the General Assembly of SMIIC, which are held at King Salman International Convention Center in Madinah with the participation of officials from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), International Islamic Fiqh Academy, and the Gulf Cooperation Council Standardization Organization, in addition to representatives of several Islamic countries.

The Minister of Commerce said that the magnitude of challenges facing the global economy as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the big responsibility placed on our shoulders to develop the quality and safety of products and services to improve the levels of trade among Islamic countries and support the growth and diversity of the Islamic economy require us to exert more efforts and offer more constructive visions that would support integration among member states in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The Minister added: “I seize this opportunity, in the presence of leaders of standardization activities in Islamic countries, to ensure the importance of this phase and highlight the importance of revising our strategic plans in a way that supports the recovery stage from the pandemic, and enable us to effectively deal with the rapid technological developments and changes within clear priorities and accurate targets.”

For his part, SASO Governor and SMIIC Chairman Dr. Saad bin Othman Al-Kasabi expressed pride in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s efforts over the past years when it chaired SMIIC presidency and the realized decisions, pledging to continue working to support these efforts and preserve the gains of the Islamic cooperation that have been achieved over the past years and to continue working on fostering integration and cooperation among member countries.

OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, in a speech that was delivered on his behalf by OIC Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs Ahmad Kawesa Sengendo, called on all Islamic countries to exert more efforts and prepare to keep pace with the developments of the Halal products market whose value is estimated at US$11.2 trillion by 2028.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz voiced his gratitude for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hosting SMIIC meetings, reviewing the main role played by the standards and metrology in supporting and empowering trade among various countries of the world. For his part, Gulf Cooperation Council Standardization Organization Secretary General Saud bin Nasser Al-Khusaibi stressed the importance of coordinating and matching efforts to unify standards, verification procedures and mutual accreditation, so as to remove technical barriers facing the trade movement in a way that contributes to supporting trade exchange and protecting public health, consumers and the environment.