2nd Annual Iraqi – European Business and Investment Forum

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On 17-18 May 2017, the ABLCC participated in the “2nd Annual Iraqi – European Business & Investment Forum” organized by the Arab-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce & Development in Athens.

This “2nd Annual Iraqi-European Forum” was under the auspices of the President of Iraq, the Ministries of Economy and Development and of Foreign Affairs of Greece, the Union of Arab Chambers and the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce, with the contribution and support of Baghdad Chamber of Commerce along with the Representation of the European Commission in Greece, Al-Bilad Bank of Iraq and the Arab-European Joint Chambers as supporting organizations.

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The three sessions started with “Iraq’s Investment Opportunities”, which were presented by highlevel Iraqi speakers, followed by “Iraq’s Oil, Gas and Sustainable Energy Sectors” and the third session on “Potential for Infrastructure Projects in Iraq”, which was moderated by Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, Secretary General of the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.

The last two sessions were presented by high-level Iraqi, Greek and European speakers, outlining the potential of these sectors in light of the fact that Iraq is heading towards a new era of security, stability and reconstruction.

It is worth mentioning that the participants in this Forum exceeded in number the ones in the previous Iraqi Forum that was held back in April 2016.

Economic Forum: The GCC, one of the World's fastest growing region...

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Rapidly growing economies, strategic location, new diversification plans, economic and political stability, primary destination for investors and entrepreneurs seeking to establish operations in the MENA Region… These are some of the many assets that make the GCC one of the best Economic and Trade Partners.

Given the multiple assets of GCC countries, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce has decided to dedicate to the GCC market its traditional Economic Forum, organized for the 11th consecutive year on 10 May 2017 in BNP Paribas Fortis sumptuous premises.

To that purpose, the ABLCC invited an interesting panel of local and international experts to share insights, knowledge, and know-how with a view to give the audience all necessary tools to fully benefit from the advantages and opportunities offered by the GCC!

After a welcome note by Mr. Peter Pollaert, Head Cash Management and Global Trade Solutions at BNP Paribas Fortis, and Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, Secretary General of the ABLCC, Mr. Peter Young, Deputy Head of Unit, South Mediterranean and Middle East, DG Trade at the European Commission, Started the panel “Aspect of protocol and business practices in the GCC” inviting us to grasp the reality behind this year’s theme. Mr. Young gave the audience an overview of the strong trade relationship between the EU and the GCC, highlighting the fact that “the EU is GCC's first trading partner, accounting for 16.6% of GCC total trade”. The GCC is the fourth export market of the EU with 5.7% of its exports going to the GCC.

Mr. Fahad Al-Jaimaz, Counsellor at the Embassy of Kuwait, then took the floor to present the Biggest projects under the new development plan 2015-2020. “The State of Kuwait is currently in the midst of its second mega economic development plan, which includes investments of over USD 103 billion in projects related to oil, gas, electricity, water, housing, health, education, transport, communications, tourism, and the environment”.

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HEM Mohamed Issa Abushahab, Ambassador of the UAE, in turn, presented business opportunities in the UAE for Belgian and Luxembourg companies, pointing up to the fact that the EU was UAE's top trading partner in 2015 with a total trade value of USD 67 billion. “Strengthening trade relations, expanding Investments, and improving climate for doing business are UAE's trade objectives in a nutshell". He then made the audience more familiar with the Dubai 2020 event.

After a short film focusing on Bahrain and its blooming market, Mr. Nabil Jijakli, Deputy CEO at Credendo Group, gave the participants an International economic outlook and reviewed what would be the major risks for the future.

After these interesting presentations, the participants had the chance to take part to an interactive double interview “success stories and history of doing business in the GCC / Belgium / Luxembourg” moderated by Mr. Fouad Trad, CEO at Byblos Bank Europe. Mr. Trad skillfully guided through this interview Mr. Fadel Al Faraj, Managing Director at Kuwait Petroleum, and Mr. Ghassan Ejjeh, Senior Vice President at Besix. Both of them shared their success stories along with their perspective on doing business with Europe and the Arab world respectively.

Their well-founded observations along with their sound advice have been highly appreciated by the attendees.

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As usual, this Major event brought together decision makers, government officials, Arab Ambassadors accredited to Brussels, Arab diplomats, the ABLCC board members, Belgian Foreign Trade Agencies, business executives, investors, and professional organizations from Belgium, Luxembourg, the EU, and Arab countries and was once again a suitable place to meet and exchange on current issues without any taboos.

To complete such an interesting afternoon, the participants had the opportunity to establish contacts during a networking cocktail, which was an ideal opportunity to meet and exchange views with the various experts in a relaxed atmosphere.

You have missed this Major event and still want to learn more about GCC Countries or the presentations of the various speakers? Do not hesitate to get in touch with the ABLCC team This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. !

Seminar: Belgian Social Security System

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On 28 March 2017, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Group S and Symbio, had the pleasure to invite Representatives of Arab Embassies in Belgium to a seminar on Social Security and health insurance at LE CHATELAIN BOUTIQUE HOTEL.

The event, with no less than 38 registered participants, proved very successful  and served as a first step to help attendees better understand the Belgian Social Security System thanks to leading experts in their field!

This event proved a success as the number of registrations outreached the initial target number of participants!We were even pleased to welcome guests from the State of Kuwait, who came especially to take part to this event!

After the Seminar, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Group S, and Symbio, cordially invited the attendees to share a meal, which was an ideal opportunity to meet and exchange views with the various experts in a relaxed atmosphere.

 

Lunch-Conference with Governor Smets, National Bank of Belgium

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I know you are a very active Chamber. This Chamber of Commerce is very important, and in a very efficient way, contributes to the excellent relations between Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Arab World.
Governor Jan Smets, National Bank of Belgium (NBB)

As the National Bank of Belgium’s annual report, an eagerly awaited source of information both in Belgium and abroad since 1851, has been published less than a month ago, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce found it opportune to organize a Lunch-conference on economic perspectives and challenges for Belgium and the Eurozone in 2017.

And who better than the Governor of the National Bank of Belgium himself, His Excellency Jan Smets, could give us a more valuable insight on the matter?

During his presentation, Governor Smets recalled the importance of trade relations between Belgium and the Arab world stressing that this area is an important trade partner for Belgium with exports to Arab countries accounting for more than 3% of Belgian exports globally.

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Governor Smets continued his analysis by giving the audience further insights on economic projections for the Eurozone and Belgium and how economic growth could be reinforced. He also drew attention to the fact that the world economy is growing and that it will grow a little bit more this year than last year.

This event was also a great occasion for the participants to meet face-to-face with our expert and to expand their network as it gathered around 80 people among which 25 Ambassadors and representatives from Arab Embassies.

Learn more about the Lunch-Conference with the governor of the NBB in our upcoming newsletter!
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New Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the Kingdom of Belgium

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H.E.M. Jasem Mohamed ALBUDAIWI, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the Kingdom of Belgium and Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, Secretary General of the ABLCC

H.E.M. Jasem Mohamed ALBUDAIWI has been appointed as new Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the Kingdom of Belgium.

On this occasion, Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, Secretary General of the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, paid a courtesy visit to His Excellency ALBUDAIWI on 21 October 2016. They both seized this opportunity to discuss ways of cooperation to strengthen trade, economic, as well as cultural relations between the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Belgium.

His Excellency ALBUDAIWI has shown a genuine interest in giving a new impetus to bilateral relations and strenghten cooperation given the deep relationship between both countries as well as the many opportunities and positive economic developments offered by the State of Kuwait.

Indeed, the new five-year development plan 2015-2020 focuses on diversification to fuel Kuwaiti economy and project market. it sets up a series of initiatives to attract quality local and foreign investments, by creating the right investment environment, simplifying procedures, enabling a favorable legislative framework for the encouragement and protection of investment, and offering a host of incentives and exemptions, including allowing for a 100% foreign ownership.

In this vein, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce took part to the Kuwait Investment Forum organized by the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority on 08-09 March 2016 in Kuwait. Likewise, on 02 May 2016, Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, took part to the Ceremony marking the completion of the masterplan project for Q8Oils Blending Plant Antwerp.

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