Talal Abu-Ghazaleh & Co. International: Annual Meeting

01 Nov 2002

Under the patronage of HE the Syrian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa Miro, the Annual Meeting of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh & Co. International was held in Damascus during the period of September 18-22, 2002. On behalf of the Prime Minister, Dr. Ghassan Al Refai, Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade opened the meeting that was attended by Ministers, Ministers’ Assistants, Arab and foreign ambassadors, businessmen, economists, managers of Abu-Ghazaleh Group, and Board members of the Arab Society for Intellectual Property (ASIP) and the Arab Knowledge Management Society (AKMS) from all Arab countries.

In the opening session, Minister Al-Refai welcomed the participants and commended the important professional subjects on the agenda, including the ISO Seminar, the Digital Education Seminar, meetings of the AKMS and the important professional subjects of accounting, auditing and information and communication technologies to be discussed during the meetings.

Minister Al-Refai called for keeping pace with the great changes in the IT and communication revolution to transform the society into a society of knowledge. He discussed Syria’s request to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), and emphasized that the relevant authorities are closely following up the efforts for building the Arab capabilities in the world trade system, including negotiations with the WTO through the qualification programs held by Talal Abu-Ghazaleh & Co. International in cooperation with the AKMS and the Center for Applied Studies in International Negotiations (CASIN), Geneva.

The Minister indicated that Syria, under the leadership of Dr. Bashaar Al-Asad, is seeking to realize modernization and development. He called for combining the efforts to consolidate a professional environment which adopts professional standards and principles, whether in the accounting and auditing sector through the expertise and role of the Arab Society of Certified Accountants (ASCA), or in the intellectual property sector through updating legislations and laws with the combined expertise of the ASIP and Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP).

Also in the opening session, Mr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, founder and Chairman of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh & Co. International made a speech, confirming that the Group, is presenting its professional activities and an expertise of over thirty years in all Arab Countries, to the service of all sectors in Syria. Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh expressed his thanks to President Al-Asad, and commended Syria’s steps towards joining the WTO. He said that joining the WTO is a great challenge to the officials in Syria; however, Syria will succeed despite the deficiency and lack of fairness in the world trade system.

Discussing the digital gap between the Arab countries and the West, Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh explained that this gap is temporary and will be bridged as the Arab countries have the will and the capabilities to close it.

He warned against the coming bigger challenge represented in the biological integration of information, and the resulting superiority of one human being over the other. He said that if we do not prepare ourselves for this challenge and keep pace with this development, a catastrophe would occur.



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