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Wed 13 Feb 2008 05:18 PM

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Forum breakthrough to educate retailers

The first Arab Consumer and Brand Protection Forum has been developed to fight commercial fraud in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia-based consumer protection organisation has revealed plans for the first Arab Consumer and Brand Protection Forum (ACBPF).

The event will take place from October 19 to 22 in Jeddah, under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, the Governor of Makkah.

"The Arab League has aligned its efforts with Hemaya Universal to host the conference as a first step towards efforts to combat the epidemic of counterfeiting," said Dr Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al-Tuwaijri, Assistant General Secretary of the Arab League for Economic Affairs.

"Hemaya has courageously begun to protect consumers from commercial fraud, in addition to helping secure intellectual property rights in the Arab region," he added.

Ahmed bin Suleiman Al-Zubeidi, CEO of Hemaya Universal, said: "The volume of commercial fraud globally is estimated at 7 to 10% of the global trading volume that is US$780 billion annually."

"In view of private sector's keen understanding of the importance of this forum, several organizations and brand owners have shown great interest through participation and sponsorship."

Al-Zubeidi said the forum has been engineered to create stronger consumer awareness and alert the public to the dangers of counterfeited goods.

The Arab Consumer and Brand Protection Forum will address the need to protect the economies of Arab countries, as well as traders and copyright owners of original brands.

Dr Edmond Saadah, General Director of the Executive Committee of the forum, said: "Hemaya Universal has decided to implement an effective marketing communications campaign utilising a wide range of media and content targeting each key segment of stakeholders."

The campaign will be delivered via the mass media, web portals, direct mail and events.

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