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

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Economic Forum GCC Countries 1

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. !

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