Past Events

Seeing beyond the horizon: a new economic vision for an innovative and dynamic Arab world

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Doing business with arab countries
Fltr: Mrs. Evelien STAELENS, Mr. David BEECKX, H.E. Dr. Yousef BATAINEH, Mr. Joseph SOMERS, Mr. Qaisar HIJAZIN, Mr. Frank HAAK

For the seventh 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 21 September, to explore with them the potential offered by the Arab Market.

As highlighted by Mr. Qaisar HIJAZIN, Secretary General of the ABLCC, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since the first launch of the “Doing Business with Arab Countries” seminar in 2009.

Conflicts, upheavals, low oil prices, refugee crisis… but also and above all the will of most Arab economies to unleash the potential of their markets through substantial measures aiming at diversifying their economies.

This year seminar held under the theme “Seeing beyond the horizon: a new economic vision for an innovative and dynamic Arab world” was thus a great opportunity for the participants to have an in-depth understanding of the complex realities that lie behind the various changes undergone by the Arab world.

This was done in a most comprehensive way, by giving the floor to experts such as, H.E. Dr. Yousef BATAINEH, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to Belgium, who gave the attendees an objective analysis of the situation in Jordan and the wider Region.

Mr. David BEECKX, Senior Trade Finance Manager at BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV Belgium, presented the new digital trade finance product BPO (Bank Payment Obligation), a new payment method in international trade. Indeed, as our world is becoming ever more connected we have to be prepared for the world of tomorrow.

Doing business with arab countries interactive interview
Fltr: Mr. Koen VAN PETEGHEM, Mr. Yaniss AICHE, Dr. Walter BUYDENS, Mrs. Evelien STAELENS

After a short break, everyone gathered again to take part to an interactive interview moderated by Mrs. Evelien STAELENS, Area Manager Middle East & North Africa at Flanders Investment and Trade, who skillfully guided the managers of three international companies active in the Arab world (Mr. Koen VAN PETEGHEM, CG POWER SYSTEMS, General Manager EMEA/ Mr. Yaniss AICHE, SHEPPARD MULLIN RICHTER & HAMPTON, Counsel EU Policy and EMEA Government Affairs/ Dr. Walter BUYDENS, VITO, CEO VITO Middle East).

Through this interview - one of this edition’s new concept - they shared their success stories along with their perspective on doing business with the Arab world. Their well-founded observations along with their sound advice have been highly appreciated by the attendees (Watch the full interview here).

After this interesting session, Mr. Guy CEUNEN, Commercial Manager Benelux at Qatar Airways, invited us to embark , the time of a presentation, on a Qatar Airways flight and to discover the “Rise and success of one of the fastest growing airlines in the world”.

Last but not least, Mr. Joseph SOMERS, Operation Manager at SGS Belgium, and host of the event, gave an overview of “Product Conformity in the Arab World (New legislation in Egypt, Lybia)”.

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

In short, we can conclude that despite the recent transformations, the Arab world, although it is not the easiest region, remains a rewarding place in more than one way. Just keep in mind the PPP rule: be Patient, Persevere, and keep your Prices attractive...

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