With these few words, and with as much pride as enthusiasm, I am very happy to introduce myself to the members, friends and contacts of CASCI.

My name is Hilda Al-Hinai and I am from Oman. I am delighted to join CASCI as the new Secretary General. I have 30 years’ experience working with governments, private sector, regional and international organizations.  Before joining CASCI, I worked as the Director of the Sultanate of Oman’s Office to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Deputy Permanent Representative of Oman to the WTO. My job was to defend and represent Oman’s interests in the WTO, WIPO, UNCTAD and ITC, and to coordinate the interests of the Arab region, including the GCC countries. In addition, I have been committed to the rules-based Multilateral Trading System that ensures transparency, certainty and predictability for enterprises of the WTO members. Among my activities, I chaired the accession of Seychelles to the WTO, joining WTO’s “Trade for Peace” initiative and organized several events involving the private sector, including events held at the WTO and held in Geneva. I also facilitated the provision of technical assistance to some countries joining to the WTO.

As the Secretary General of CASCI, I will focus on promoting trade and investment between 22 Arab countries and Switzerland and encourage accession of the remaining Arab countries to the WTO in order to achieve the desired economic integration among the Arab countries. This will also facilitate doing business with Switzerland.  I will also place a priority on finding investment opportunities between the Arab region and Switzerland in Advanced Technologies, Financial Services, E-Commerce, Green Energy, Healthcare, Tourism, Logistics & infrastructure, Agriculture and Food Security, Education and Vocational Training. These are the main sectors of interest to many governments and businesses in the Arab region.

 Many Arab countries are in the process of implementing their economic diversification plans. We believe that Switzerland is the best place to learn from on how to diversify the economy.  I will pay special attention to the micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) and to the creative industries.  MSMEs are the main drivers of economic growth in many countries in the Arab region. The role of women in these sectors is also very important and I will highlight their role and promote it. 

My experience of 30 years, skills and my contacts with regional organizations, International Organizations, private sector and with our partners in Switzerland will be deployed to benefit our new mission at CASCI. 

I am looking forward to working closely with the Arab and Swiss Chambers, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Investment Promotion and Export development Agencies, Trade Facilitation Authorities and Trade Finance Agencies. I am also looking forward to hearing you, and working closely with you to develop and advance our trade and investment relations.