Beirut, 21 June 2012 (ESCWA Communication and Information Unit)— The Amman based ESCWA Technology Centre launched a “Commercialization Tour,” which it organized in cooperation with Talal Abu Ghazaleh International, El Hassan Business Park in Jordan, and Licensing Executives Society in the Arab Countries. This tour is intended to be held in four states (Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan), and is aimed at utilizing the innovative and creative capacities in ESCWA member states, by connecting entrepreneurs seeking licensing, partnership, finance or marketing with investors in the field of technology in the region.
In his speech during the launch, Fuad Mrad, Executive Director of ESCWA Technology Centre, said that "this work is built on the foundations of complementary action between institutions that serve the common interests of all, where the rate of competitive indicators between Arab countries varies significantly. This in itself constitutes an ideal opportunity for cooperation and exchange of different capacities and capabilities between these states.” He added that the high unemployment rates point out the lack of economic diversification in ESCWA countries, where oil and gas sectors employ only 1.5 per cent of the workforce in the Gulf oil states.
Mrad clarified that small and medium enterprises play a significant role in creating jobs for the economies of ESCWA member states, as they contribute to more than 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and more than 60 per cent in new jobs created in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. He also said that the rate of employment of small and medium enterprises in the United Arab Emirates is about 86 per cent, which highlights the importance of the role of economics in supporting new businesses, working in the field of technology in the ESCWA region.
He concluded: “We believe in youths’ educational and entrepreneurial capabilities, and we are confident in the interest of institutions and Arab individuals’ investments that are aimed at supporting the economy and local communities… Knowledge and information breached all fences and devices and must interact with the needs of society and the economy, helping each other, as part of an integrated system.”