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Damascus Hosts the Third Arab Industrial Information and Networking Conference


United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UN-ESCWA (Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia), Mr. Bader Aldafa is participating, upon the invitation of the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO), in the “Third Arab Industrial Information and Networking Conference”, held from 29 to 31 October 2007, in Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic, under the patronage of Prime Minister Muhammad Naji Al Otri.

The conference, in which Aldafa is to give an inaugural address and which is being held under the slogan “industrial information for competitiveness, exchange and investment”, aims at improving the use of industrial information to enhance the competitiveness of the Arabic industrial sector; raising awareness on the importance of information and networking in developing the Arabic industry; linking information with the goal of establishing the Arab free trade zone; and exchanging Arab and international expertise and experiences. The conference is also to focus on improving the quality of, and developing, industrial information and networks; on information and communication technology (ICT), through electronic applications, information systems, and their relation to industry; and on industrial information and its role in exchange, investment and competitiveness.

Following the conference’s inaugural session, Aldafa is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with AIDMO. The MoU aims at activating coordination between UN-ESCWA and AIDMO on common-interest issues, as well as implementing a set of activities and programs, and exchanging information on common sectors.

The conference will be attended by representatives from Ministries of Industry, Energy, Mineral Resources, Economy, Planning, Information and Communications in several Arab countries, in addition to representative of Arab standards and metrology organizations, Arab accreditation organizations, Arab geological survey organizations, Arab and foreign chambers of trade and industry, as well as Arab statistics organizations, the Arab private sector and a selected group of Arab companies, universities and research centers.

The conference was co-organized by concerned ministries in Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco and Mauritania. In addition to these parties, the Islamic Development Bank and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, (UNIDO) partook in organizing the conference.

According to the Website of AIDMO, this conference is taking place after the region hosted the second World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in Tunisia, in November 2005, as well as several ICT conferences, seminars and meetings held on the regional level.The conference also comes at a time when AIDMO has begun implementing the first stage of the Arab industrial development strategy. Industrial information plays a key role in the success of the strategy’s programs, which include the development of an Arab network for industrial information that comprises the establishment of an Arab industrial gate consisting of an Arab industrial map that provides information to assist in promoting Arab industrial products and developing intra-Arab trade as well as Arab-international trade.