His Excellency Dr. Samir el Sayed, the Egyptian Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade who was represented by Eng. Hassan Shaarawi the Executive Director of the Egyptian Accreditation Council (EGAC) and Mr. Mohamed Ben Youssef the Director General of the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO) were the guests of honour.
ARAC is one of the main pillars of the Pan Arab quality infrastructure established by the Ministerial Decree of the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO) in June 2008 and its Bylaws were approved by the Ministerial Council on May 2010.
All Arab Accreditation Bodies are invited to be members in ARAC, not withstanding being within the structure of AIDMO, ARAC has the right of full independence and impartiality in decision making.
ARAC is a planning and coordinating agency to support inter/intra Arab trade (22 Arab countries), improve the competitiveness of Arab goods and services and to facilitate health and safety of the public and the environment with the aim of extending its services from the current membership of 12 to accommodate all the Arab world.
ARAC, with the financial Support from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) in cooperation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in its 2 year programme will be striving to achieve its objectives and cooperate in building the capacity of accreditation across the Arab World with the goal of sustaining an internationally acceptable mutual recognition arrangement.
Accreditation which is the process of providing recognition of competence of conformity assessment bodies such as testing and calibration laboratories, certification bodies (management system/ product /personnel) and inspection bodies contributes to the development of Arab economies by providing confidence and trust.
The Minister of Industry and foreign trade in his speech delivered by Mr. Shaarawi, noted the key role accreditation plays in socio economic development and welcomed the establishment of ARAC as a platform upon which the Arab World can build and develop its accreditation infrastructure. The Minister also noted that Quality infrastructure has become a mandatory requirement for sustainable trade and economic growth and the business spill over in job creation, regional integration, common markets, peace and security, he said.
He concluded his speech by encouraging ARAC together with the other quality pillars to operate in such a manner as to gain international recognition and trust and to cooperate with other regions of the world.
Mohamed Ben Youssef, the Director General of the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO) noted that the implementation of the regional standardization strategy adopted by AIDMO is aiming to achieve regional integration, harmonization and effective coordination in the quality infrastructure ensuring compliance with international trade rules and regulations while the current project is focused on regional cooperation in Accreditation. He also noted that emphasis should be placed on the cooperation among the Arab Accreditation bodies within the framework of ARAC with the more developed Accreditation bodies contributing to develop the less developed ones along with the global cooperation of ARAC with the Regional and International Accreditation bodies.
As part of the launch the ARAC plaque was revealed amongst cheers from the delegates in attendance, marking a milestone in ARAC’s history.
The launch was followed by the inaugural ARAC Executive Committee meeting during which two technical Committees were formed, a Technical Committee and a Communication Committee to commence implementing an ambitious work plan.
The ARAC launch received wide coverage in the Egyptian media and television