تطور العلاقات العربية الأوروبية بين الطموح والتردد

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العلاقات بين العالم العربي والاتحاد الأوروبي علاقات تجارية وثقافية وسياسية واقتصادية تمتد جذورها في عمق التاريخ كونهما جاران متلاصقان يقعان على ضفتي البحر الأبيض المتوسط الذي يفصل بينهما ويجمعهما في آن واحد، وقد مرا عبر الزمن بفترات ازدهرت فيها العلاقات والمبادلات بينهما كما مرا بفترات صعبة إذا ما صح التعبير.

وبما أن الطرفان يرتبطان بمجموعة واسعة من المصالح المشتركة فمن البديهي أن تعزيز العلاقات بينهما في جميع المجالات هو مسألة ذات أولوية لكل من الاتحاد الأوروبي والعالم العربي. ومن المعروف أن العالم العربي يمد أوروبا بموارد الطاقة، بينما تقوم أوروبا بدور هام في تلبية الاحتياجات العربية للمشاريع التنموية ومن مختلف السلع المستوردة.

ABLCC hosts Kuwait Forum to boost trade, economic ties with Belgium

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High-ranking Kuwaiti diplomats and economic officials presented tremendous opportunities and facilities available for Belgian entrepreneurs to do business in Kuwait, at a conference held in Brussels Monday. The Kuwait Economic Forum (Kuwait Vision 2035) was organized by the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (ABLCC) in collaboration with the Embassy of Kuwait in Brussels and with Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA).

Mr.Qaisar Hijazin, Secretary General of ABLCC, in his welcome remarks said that the forum represents a good occasion for Belgian entrepreneurs to find out more about the various business opportunities offered by Kuwait and to confirm the place of Kuwait as a commercial and financial center. He underlined the important role of Kuwait to preserve stability in the region.

In turn, Kuwait's Ambassador to Belgium, EU , NATO and Luxembourg, Jassem Al-Budaiwi, in his welcome address said "Kuwait is in the best position of major oil exporting nations to have a balanced budget. "This is mainly due to our fiscal reforms, diversification, and our investment income. Kuwait's financial buffers have allowed the country to pursue an expansionary budget this year," he said. "Perhaps the best indication of Kuwait's fiscal health is our sovereign credit rating where major credit agencies have rated Kuwait positively," he noted.

Kuwait Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Amal Al-Hamad, in her brief remarks, said "this is an opportunity for Belgian and European companies to have more in-depth knowledge of what is available as investments in Kuwait." She highlighted the importance of the forthcoming Kuwait Investment Forum, which will be on 20 and 21 March, under the patronage of His Highness the Amir. She noted that already 300 companies have registered to attend this forum in Kuwait.

Meanwhile, Cecile Jodogne, state secretary for the Brussels-Capital Region, in charge for foreign trade, in her keynote speech, underlined the importance Belgium attaches to its relations with Kuwait noting the Belgium established its embassy in Kuwait in 1965. "Since then we have maintained a dynamic political and economic relations," she said and praised Kuwait's role as mediator in the region. "I would like to take the occasion to praise Kuwait in its mediator efforts and setting up a dialogue with its neighbors," she said. Jodogne also noted the increased exchange of visits by officials and business community of both countries as a sign of growing partnership between the two friendly countries. "The increase in trade ties between Belgium and Kuwait will be beneficial for all of us present here. All the Belgian participants in this Forum are excited about Kuwait's 2035 vision" she stressed.

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Furthermore, Majed Al-Ajeel, Chairman of Kuwait Banking Association and Chairman of the Burgan Bank presented the opportunities and facilities offered by Kuwait's banking sector to traders and businessmen. He mentioned figures and statistics which shows that Kuwait has a solid banking sector and a strong regulatory environment, and said that the Kuwait banking sector has invested billions of dollars in major projects in the country.

Khaled Mahdi, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, gave a detailed overall view of Kuwait's National Development Plan and spoke about future major economy projects in the country related with the 2035 vision. "Kuwait is taking important steps towards sustainability under a wise leadership," he stressed.

Mohammad Yaqoub, Assistant Director General for business development at KDIPA, also spoke about the National Development Plan and projects that KDIPA is working on to achieve 2035 vision. He also focused on the leading role played by KDIPA to strengthen the private sector and invited international companies to invest in projects in Kuwait noting that the country has a transparent legal system and a young and highly educated population. "We are the gate for Iraq, Turkey and Iran," he stressed.

Fadhel Al-Faraj Managing Director for Kuwait Petroleum in Northwest Europe, noted that Kuwait Petroleum Corporation is one of the world's largest integrated oil conglomerates and runs 8 subsidiaries in exploration and production, downstream, and transportation. He noted that KPC's international arm, KPI, has three offices in Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg and plans to maintain its strengthened position in the Benelux market focussing on the growth and quality of its networks.

Muthanna Al-Saleh, head of markets sector at Kuwait Capitals Markets Authority (CMA) in his speech gave an overview of CMA activities and noted that it is the oldest in the region. He said Kuwait Stock Exchange was the first exchange in the region which was established in 1983. Al-Saleh added that CMA has a robust legal and regulatory framework and enhances investor protection. He said that Boursa Kuwait (BK) is the only exchange in Kuwait and 177 companies are listed in BK. Among key CMA objectives are to attract more foreign and institutional investors to the market and enhance the efficiency of the overall market infrastructure, he said. The forum concluded with a lively question and answer session which showed the keen interest of Belgian businessmen to build partnerships in Kuwait.

8th Arab Belgian Diplomatic Business Workshop

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8th Arab Belgian Diplomatic Business WorkshopMr. Verkammen speech

 

The now renowned « Diplomatic Business Workshop » organized for the 8th consecutive year by the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, with the support of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Linklaters, was held on Friday 15 December 2017.

Through this workshop the ABLCC organized a networking lunch started with a brief speech of HE.Mr. Johan Verkammen Director Middle East & North Africa- foreign Affairs, shedding light that this economic diplomacy should be as efficient and useful as possible for our companies.

Explaining the importance of summarizing our action by referring to the 4 “I’s”: to Inform, to Introduce, to Intervene and to promote the Image of Belgium.

« We encourage our embassies and consulates abroad to feed us with relevant economic information, which is dispatched to our regional bodies and to our companies.

Mentioning the application called “Trade4U” which is run by the Belgian Foreign Trade Agency and which provides economic information on your smartphone.

Reiterating that Trade missions are an important tool, In that respect one of the highlights in 2018 will be the trade missions lead by Her Highness Princess Astrid in Morocco, in Egypt in the spring, and many more.

We all work towards the same goal: enhance our foreign trade relations and defend the interests of our companies.

He underlined the Efficient effort of the Arab Belgian Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce for this successful gathering,more than 110 participants each year, the workshop makes perfectly clear the importance of Arab-Belgian relations and its supporting role for Belgian companies.

And in the frame of the 40th anniversary of the Chamber in 2018, Mr. Ghassan Ejjeh (Senior vice-president) BESIX, reporting his long relation with the Chamber extended for 50 years, and its evolution.

Saudi Arabia - Belgium Business Forum “Vision 2030: Towards a Smart Partnership”

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Delegation Arabie Saoudite Business forum

On 21 November 2017, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Council of Saudi Chambers and AGORIA, had the pleasure to welcome a delegation of businessmen from Saudi Arabia.

On this occasion, the ABLCC organized a Business Forum, followed by a lunch in presence of the delegation and B2B meetings.

Mr. Johan BEERLANDT, Chairman of the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, and Sheikh Hassan Isam AL KABBANI, Honorary Consul of Belgium in Saudi Arabia, opened this Business Forum by welcoming nearly 100 participants.

Mr. Johan BEERLANDT stressed the importance of the relations with Saudi Arabia at both European and Belgian level. Saudi Arabia is the first trading partner for the European Union as regards trade with Arab countries

AS FAR AS BELGIUM IS CONCERNED, BELGIAN IMPORTS FROM SAUDI ARABIA HAVE SEEN A 40% INCREASE! INDEED, BELGIAN IMPORTS ROSE FROM 1.5 BILLION EUR IN 2014 TO 2.2 BILLION EUR IN 2016, WHICH SHOWS A POSITIVE AND ENCOURAGING EVOLUTION FOR THE FUTURE.
Johan Beerlandt, Chairman, ABLCC

Sheikh Hassan Isam AL KABBANI took this opportunity to highlight the prosperous international relationships of Belgium. Thanks to its economy and its investment environment, Belgium attracted about 33 billion dollars of foreign investment in 2016 and represents 21.3% of the total exports of the EU. Belgium is also the 10th country importing from Saudi Arabia.

Although both countries can already be proud of these figures, Belgium and Saudi Arabia will unite their efforts to enhance total foreign trade between them.

Delegation Arabie Saoudite

As regards the seminar per see, Mr. Ziad AL SUBBALY, Marketing specialist, Saudi Export Program, gave an in-depth presentation on the Saudi Export Program. Among other things, he underlined the non-oil sectors growth in Saudi Arabia during these last years.

Thanks to the intervention of Mr. Basem ALSALLOM, Deputy Governor, Saudi Arabia General Investment (SAGIA), the attendees were given a comprehensive presentation on Saudi Arabia economic context and opportunities, and more precisely on its Vision 2030.

WE INVITE BELGIAN BUSINESS OWNERS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INVESTMENT PROGRAMS EMBODIED IN THE VISION 2030 OF THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA, WHICH INCLUDED MANY COMMERCIAL AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES SUITABLE FOR BELGIAN BUSINESSMEN IN VARIOUS FIELDS: HIGH TECHNOLOGY, TRANSPORTS, LOGISTICS, ICT, HEALTH, AND EDUCATION.
Sheikh Hassan Isam Al Kabbani, Honorary Consul of Belgium in Saudi Arabia

The ensuing question-time highlighted the genuine interest of Belgian entrepreneurs for the new vision 2030 and the Saudi Market!

After the Business Forum, participants could enjoy a lunch in presence of the Saudi Business Delegation and nurture their relationships.

To bring this interesting day to a close, the attendees had the chance to take part to particularly fruitful B2B Meetings with the Saudi Business Delegation.

This day demonstrated the common will of the two Kingdoms to expand their partnership!

Site Visit at SABIC & Meeting with VOKA Limburg CCI

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Saudi Businessmen Delegation Sabic

On the occasion of the visit of a Saudi Business Delegation to Belgium, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Council of Saudi Chambers, was delighted to organize a site visit to SABIC, followed by a meeting to VOKA – Limburg Chamber of Commerce. The delegation was headed by Sheikh Hassan Isam Al Kabbani, Honorary Consul of Belgium in Saudi Arabia.

The first visit was the occasion for the Delegation to learn more on the activities of SABIC in Europe. Indeed, Mr. Marc COUN, Site Manager Genk, presented the various sites of production and the efficient safety policy of SABIC.

To conclude this interesting morning, the delegation took part to a plant tour and discovered the whole chain of production, which has undergone major improvement lately, and is now a remarkable example of automated production.

Saudi Businessmen delegation

The Delegation then headed to Hasselt to meet Mrs. Cathérine DREESEN, Director International Trade and Innovation at VOKA Limburg CCI.

After a lunch-break, the delegation was keen to get to know more on the province of Limburg thanks to the intervention of Mr. Aleksandr NATANELOV, Business Development Manager.

The presentations of Mr. Basem ALSALLOM, Deputy Governor at SAGIA (Saudi Arabia General Investment) and Mr. Ziad AL SUBBALY, Marketing specialist for the Saudi Export Program, were deeply appreciated and led to a constructive and enlightening discussion.

To bring this meeting to an end, each member of the delegation enjoyed a networking coffee in Limburg style.

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