Arab mineral sector needs investments

Arab mineral sector needs investments

Speakers at the two-day ninth Arab Conference for Mineral Resources that concluded here recently recommended creating investment opportunities in the mineral resources sector.

Nearly 100 Arab and foreign mining experts participated in the event, which was attended by more than 1,000 representatives of local, Arab and international companies.

Speakers urged the private sector to study technical aspects of the working papers presented at the conference. They stressed the need for activating the private sector’s role in taking up the lead in developing the minerals sector in the Arab world.

They called upon Arab governments to create a suitable atmosphere to attract foreign investment in the field. They underlined the importance of preparing geological maps of mineral resources and providing other relevant information. Arab countries were urged to increase their cooperation and exchange their expertise in areas such as mineral exploration, extraction and industrialisation and marketing of mineral products. They also called for setting up special chambers for minerals like the chambers for commerce and industry.

Talat Zafir, chairman of the organising committee and manager of the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organisation, said that with mineral production not exceeding $2 billion in all Arab countries and representing only 1.2 per cent of their total exports, there is a need for regulations that attract investment, coordinate Arab efforts and overcome the obstacles hindering the sector’s development.

“Mining has been growing in Saudi Arabia over the past few years,” said Anwar Husain, vice-president of business development and contracts of the Saudi Canadian Mining Services Company, a subsidiary of Canadian International Services, which provides exploration, drilling, mining activities, core cutting and manufacturing and transportation.

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