Past Events

8th Edition of "Doing Business with Arab Countries"

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For the eighth consecutive year, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce was delighted to welcome its members and friends in the beautiful premises of SGS in Antwerp, on Wednesday 04 October.

As highlighted by Mr. Qaisar HIJAZIN, Secretary General of the ABLCC, since the last edition in 2016, a great deal has happened in the Arab World, be it positive or sometimes less positive. However, despite of all this, Arab countries remain important markets and partners for Belgium.

Most Arab countries are willing to unleash the potential of their markets and are moving forward in this direction. Indeed, many of them implemented substantial measures to diversify and restructure their economies for the best. In this context, investment needs are high and opportunities are numerous in various fields such as infrastructure, healthcare, the service sector, transport and logistics, the IT sector and many more.

This year seminar, held under the theme “Doing Business with Arab Countries: Theory and Practice”, was a great opportunity for the participants to explore the potential offered by Arab Markets.

This was done in a most comprehensive way, by giving the floor to experts such as, Mr. Sébastien HARDY, Belgian Economic Attaché in Algeria, who let the attendees benefit from his on-site expertise in Algeria.

The ensuing question-time highlighted the two-way partnership between Algeria and Belgium, as Algeria is the only Arab Country exporting and importing for the same amount.

Mr. Jozef SOMERS, Operation Manager at SGS Belgium, and host of the event, gave an overview of the “conformity of products to the requirements set in Arab countries”.

After a short break, H.E. Mrs. Anick VAN CALSTER, Director General of Bilateral Affairs, FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, who the Guest of honour of this seminar, made the audience more familiar with the role of Belgian diplomacy in promoting and supporting Belgian-Arab economic ties.

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After these theoretical aspects began the more practical side of this seminar! The attendees had the opportunity to take part to an interactive interview moderated by Mrs. Evelien STAELENS, Area Manager Middle East & North Africa at Flanders Investment and Trade.

Three managers of international companies active in the Arab World and more precisely in Algeria - Mr. Daniel DECKERS, Export Manager at Van Hool/ Mr. Johan PROOST, General Manager at Ipsen Logistics BVBA Belgium/ Mr. Jan L. SARENS, Group Equipment Trade Manager at Sarens Group – shared with the audience their success story, on-site expertise, and tips in doing business with Arab countries.

This interactive part of the Seminar has been highly appreciated by the attendees.

Last but not least, Mr. Robby DE SCHUTTER, Trade Finance Officer, KBC Bank NV, introduced various payment techniques to ensure the smooth functioning of international banking transactions.

After the seminar per see, and for the first time in the past 8th editions, the participants had the opportunity to meet face to face thanks to pre-organized B2B meetings with the Belgian Economic attaché in Algeria, Representatives from Arab Embassies, Mrs. Evelien Staelens from FIT, and other participants.

To bring this interesting seminar to a close, the participants were invited to relax and exchange their business cards during a networking buffet in presence of Arab Economic Attachés.

Roundtable Meeting: PalTrade and OXFAM Delegation

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On 28 September 2017, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce was pleased to organize a roundtable meeting on the occasion of the visit of a Palestinian Delegation from PalTrade and OXFAM.

This was a good opportunity to learn more about the two organizations:

Palestine Trade Center (PalTrade), member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – Palestine, is a non-profit organization with a mandate to lead the development of Palestinian exports as a driving force for sustainable economic growth. It advocates a competitive, business enabling environment, and is dedicated to improving trade competitiveness.

OXFAM is an international organization working with communities and partners around the globe towards a world without poverty and with more economic justice.

On 28 August 2017, PalTrade and OXFAM launched the Sustainable Local Economic Development Strategy (SLED) for the Gaza Strip, in collaboration with all related national and international stakeholders.

This gathering also enabled participants from both sides to share experiences, promote dialogue, and discuss potential areas of cooperation in developing closer relations.

We look forward to further collaboration !

Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, HEM Pieter de Crem, in the United Arab Emirates

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On 12 February 2017, HEM Pieter de Crem, Secretary of state for Foreign Trade, accompanied by a 35-member Delegation involving no less than 17 Belgian companies from the three Regions of Belgium and Luxembourg, landed in Dubai in the framework of a Multisectorial Economic Mission to the UAE. The country is the first commercial partner of Belgium in the Gulf region and counts 3500 Belgian residents, the largest community of Belgians in the Middle East.

This trade mission enables us to further strengthen our contacts, to discuss ideas and opportunities and to deepen our ties.
HEM Pieter De Crem

Important Belgian Companies such as Besix, Tractebel, whose name are known all around the UAE, joined this economic mission leaded by the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce with the support of FIT, BIE, AWEX, the Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce, the Embassy of Belgium in the UAE. One must not forget that thanks to their wide range of connections and expertise such companies help put the Belgian potential firmly on the map and thus open up the market for other entrepreneurs.

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This Mission was a real opportunity for us to optimaly explore the UAE market for the first time. We gained knowledge in a short period of time. It was a really rewarding experience as we could establish relations within the UAE. But also, another quite important point, is that this mission established a strong relationship between members of the Delegation and we could benefit from the experience and advice from other companies within the Delegation. Finally, the presence of Minister de Crem, combined to the extended network of the ABLCC, was a significant added value as it gave us more credibility and opened-up unexpected doors.
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It is thus no surprise that the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, benefitting from its extensive network and privileged position in the Arab World, took the initiative to bring Belgian companies to explore the UAE market and to go beyond the commonly explored Emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Belgian Delegation also got the unique opportunity to get to know better less explored Emirates such as Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaima and Fujairah, which are offering a real potential for SMEs.

For some companies such as Derbigum, manufacturer of building materials, House & Garden, manufacturer of outdoor furniture, and the Law Firm Law Right, this was an opportunity to establish new contacts outside the major commercial centers.

For other companies, such as the Brussels IT company Ad Infinitium Bi, or the Electrical Panels Installations Company P&I bvba , as well as for Advensys Conseil, a Luxembourg accounting and fund investment firm, this was a first introduction to the UAE.

Moroccan Business men and women visit Brussels

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Moroccan Business Delegation 2016

The Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce has had the pleasure to welcome a delegation of business men and women from the Moroccan-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce on 24 November 2016.

On this occasion, the ABLCC organized, in cooperation with BIE, AWEX, and CBL-ACP, a B2B Business Networking where participants had the opportunity to meet the members of the delegation.

More than 30 participants responded to the invitation and showed a genuine interest for the Moroccan Delegation. All the participants, Belgian and Moroccan, took advantage of the expertise and experience of our speakers to explore new opportunities on the Moroccan Market and to learn more about the Belgian potential!

Indeed, after a welcome word by Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, Mr. Ghislain Breydel, Area Manager Export Middle East and North Africa, Brussels Invest & Export (BIE), gave a presentation on “Why invest in the region of Brussels-Capital”.

This was followed by a presentation “Invest in Wallonia” by Mr. Patrice Legrelle, Senior Business Development Manager Africa & Middle East, Walloon Export and Foreign Investment Agency (AWEX).

Mrs. Nour Badrawi, Director of the Moroccan-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, gave a brief outline of the Chamber’s activities before leaving the floor to Mrs. Meryem Zougarh, Economic Counselor, Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco to Belgium, who gave a comprehensive presentation entitled “Morocco, a springboard into Africa».

Among other things, Mrs. Zougarh underlined the fact that morocco has set out strategic goals to modernize key sectors of the Moroccan economy, to develop a skilled labor force thanks to trainings that meet the various company needs, to improve the business climate, and to position itself as a gateway into Africa for foreign investors.

The participants from both sides also had the chance to present their products and/or services in more detail and to meet potential cooperation/business partners during the networking lunch that brought the event to a close.

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