3rd edition, 2014

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Chamber News and recent Activities

Doing Business in the State of Qatar

7 May 2014

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The State of Qatar is experiencing a development considered by experts as one of the fastest in the world. The country, which is working to diversify its economy away from the oil and gas sector, offers Belgian businesses ample opportunities to export their experience and know-how to its growing market.

For that reason, Club Wallonia Export and the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, in presence of Mr. Saoud Al-Binali, First Secretary at the Embassy of Qatar, had the pleasure to welcome, a large number of Belgian investors, to an interactive meeting with a view to shedding light on the various investment opportunities offered by the fastest growing economy in the Gulf region.

For a great start to the day, the ABLCC offered the participants a breakfast in the Arab style.

Then, all participants were ready to attend the seminar in order to learn more on ways of investment in the State of Qatar.

In their opening speech, Mrs. Monique Oger, Head of Communication at Club Wallonia Export, and Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, Secretary General of ABLCC, pointed out the remarkable ascent of Qatar on the international stage, as well as the strong partnership opportunities. Furthermore, Mr. Hijazin encouraged Belgian companies to take full advantage of the good reputation of the label “made in Belgium”.

Afterwards, Mr. Jean-Marc Damry, Editor at Trends Tendance, took the floor and presented a comprehensive overview of the economic and social evolution of the region.

Mr. Benjamin de Seille, Specialist in the Gulf Region, provided the participants with practical information to set up a business in Qatar, while drawing attention to some of the cultural and legal aspects.

Finally, Mr. Denis Rutot, Managing Director of Chassis Hanin, Mr. Romain Olieslager, Partner Account Manager of Market IP, and Mr. Nicolas Kadri, Managing Partner at Mobilu, shared their experience in establishing their companies in Qatar. Then a debate took place in the form of a question and answer session.

To bring to a close this interesting seminar, the participants had the opportunity to establish contacts during a buffet-lunch.

Visit of an Algerian Delegation

13 May 2014

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On May 13, 2014, Brussels Entreprises Commerce and Industry (BECI) in cooperation with the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (ABLCC), had the pleasure to welcome an Algerian Delegation made up of fifteen business leaders and headed by Mr. Saâdane Kadri, Secretary General of the Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACI).

The Delegation included exporters in the sector of agri-food products as well as importers looking for opportunities of partnerships and investment in the following areas: tool machines and industrial equipment, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, glass, plastics and composites, renewable energy.

Morning session: Seminar

After a welcome note of Mr. Olivier Willocx, BECI’s Chief Executive, and Mr. Belkacem Belgaid, Minister Counsellor at the Embassy of Algeria, a memorandum of agreement between the Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Brussels Chamber of Commerce was signed.

Then, Mr. Saâdane Kadri took the floor and provided a complete picture of Algeria and its commercial exchanges with Belgium.

Afterwards, the participants had the opportunity to learn more about the needs and opportunities of the Algerian outsourcing market, thanks to a detailed account by Mr. Ramdane Toukal, Secretary General of Bourse Algérienne de la Sous-traitance et du Partenariat (BASTP).

After a short break, Mrs. Wassila Mouzai, Auditor for WM audit firm, provided all necessary legal information and conditions to access the Algerian market.

To bring the seminar to an end, Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, Secretary General of ABLCC, chaired a dynamic question and answer session. He seized the opportunity to remind the importance of the Algerian market and thanked Mrs. Sabine Soetens, International Business Development Manager at BECI, for the efficient organization of the event.

Afternoon Session: B2B Business Networking

After a buffet-lunch, during which they had the opportunity to establish contacts, the participants took part to a B2B business networking with their Algerian counterparts.

5th EBBA visit to Brussels

14 May 2014

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On Wednesday May 14, the ABLCC received a delegation of the Egyptian-Belgian Businessmen Delegation (EBBA) at the BECI headquarters, and this for the fifth consecutive year.

Egypt, one of the biggest markets in the Middle East and North Africa region, remains of great interest for Belgian companies. And Belgium also remains an interesting country for Egyptian enterprises who want to export their goods.

Sixteen Egyptian enterprises and more than twenty Belgian companies participated in this year's edition, a number that keeps rising every year. The number is in direct relation to a growing trade balance, said Mr. Rafik Attia (EBBA president) and Mr. Qaisar Hijazin in their joint statement on beurtv.

Lunch Conference: The Economic Outlook of the Arab World three years into the Arab Spring

11 June 2014

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On the occasion of its annual General Assembly, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce continued the tradition of bringing together its board members, Arab Ambassadors, and its dear members, for a lunch-conference in the Cercle Royal Gaulois to learn from top analysts about economic exchange in the Arab world.

After the completion of the board of directors meeting and the General Assembly - under the chair of Mr. William Pissoort, Lawyer at PG Partners and Board member of the ABLCC -, during which Mr. Hijazin underlined the strong financial position enjoyed by the Chamber, all participants gathered for the usual lunch-conference.

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Mr. Pissoort launched the conference with an introduction on “the business climate in the Arab world” and throw into relief that despite the recent events that have shaken the Arab world great progress has been made.

He then left the floor to our guest speaker, Mr. Nassib Ghobril, Chief Economist and Head of the Economic Research & Analysis Department at the Byblos Bank Group.

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Mr. Ghobril is a first-class lecturer; he has indeed been awarded “best economist in Lebanon and the Diaspora for 2009”, “best Sovereign Risk Analyst of 2010” and has received the “2013 Excellence in Economic Research Award”. He gave the audience an accurate and complete picture of “the Economic Outlook of the Arab World three years into the Arab Spring”.

If we had to summarize Mr. Ghobril’s address in one key sentence, this would , beyond the shadow of a doubt, be: “the Arab Spring will blossom”!

We thank you all for coming in such a large number and for your continuing support.

Visit to the Port of Ghent

18 june 2014

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On the 18 June, 2014, ABLCC members were offered the possibility to gather in the Port of Ghent for a private behind-the-scenes boat tour.

The introduction by Mr. Daan Schalck, CEO of the Port of Ghent, along with the boat tour led by Mrs. Sandra De Mey, Commercial Manager of the Port, allowed the participants the opportunity to see the important development of the Port of Ghent , as well as its economic and strategic influence, and its growing relations with the Arab World.

At the end of the tour, everybody was delighted with the quality of the visit.

 

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