4th edition, 2015

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Chamber News and Recent Activities

International evening: UAE as guest country

09 September 2015

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Once a month, the VOKA - Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Mechelen organizes its “bar international” which puts a foreign country in the spotlight.

On 09 September 2015, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce teamed up with VOKA and FIT to organize their “Bar International UAE”.

This event, which has been a real success, allowed participants to get to know more on business opportunities and on how to conduct business in the United Arab Emirates”. Indeed, a panel of experts joined us to explore the question:

After a welcome note by Mr. frédéric Achten, Director of VOKA - Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Mechelen, H.E. Sulaiman Hamid Almazrroui, Ambassador of the UAE to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg - Head of Mission to the European Union, took the floor and provided a complete picture of the UAE.

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In turn, Mr. Edouard Renson, Flemish economic representative for the United Arab Emirates, gave a global approach of the UAE market while Mr. Andy Cools, Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), concentrated on the tax regime in the UAE.

Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, Secretary of General of ABLCC, for its part, focused on intercultural aspects when doing business with the UAE.

Afterwards, Mrs. Nadia Rinawi, Regional Manager Europe for RAK Free Trade Zone, provided the participants with all necessary practical information to set up a business in Ras al Khaimah.

Finally, Mr. Dominique Delcroix, Business Manager at Ipsam Technology, shared Ipsam’s experience in conducting business in the Middle East.

To bring to a close this interesting event, the participants had the opportunity to build up contacts during a networking reception with UAE specialties.

Briefing Session: Economic Mission to Jordan and Lebanon

28 September 2015

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In the framework of the Economic Mission to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Lebanese Republic beginning of October, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, with the collaboration of the Regional Agencies for the promotion of foreign trade and investment (Brussels Invest & Export, AWEX), have organized, in the premises of Brussels Invest & Export, a briefing session for the various participants to the Mission on 28 September, 2015.

This session was a first step for the participants to explore the Jordanian as well as the Lebanese market and to find an answer to their various questions.

Doing Business with Arab Countries: Theory & Practice

01 October 2015

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On 01 October, 2015, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with SGS, organized their seminar “Doing Business with Arab countries: theory and practice” for the 6th successive year.

Indeed, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce is well aware of the fact that to effectively conduct business in the Arab World our business leaders should 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 Prof. Dr. Bichara Khader, Director of Institut du Monde Arabe UCL, who provided the participants with an insight on the recent turbulences that occurred in the Arab world, and their relations with Belgium and Europe.

Mrs. Mireille Janssens, Business Development Advisor for Delcredere | Ducroire, presented the Belgian Export Credit Agency ‘“Delcredere | Ducroire” as a supporting body for Belgian and Foreign exporters.

Subsequently, Mr. Dominique Delattre, Director Middle East & Africa at AWEX, presented trade relations between Belgium and Arab countries as well as the various services provided by AWEX to support companies doing business with the Arab world.

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After a short break, Mr. Hijazin gave the floor to Mr. Luc Jonckers, Business Development Manager atTranscontinental Logistics-T.C.L., talked about T.C.L. day-to-day experience of doing business in the Arab world.

Mr. Holger Vogt, Deputy Head of Region, Central Europe, Business Development at Bahrein Economic Development Board, made an interesting presentation on “Bahrain - the financial services hub in the Gulf”.

Last but not least, before starting a question and answer session, Mr. Joseph Somers, Operation Manager at SGS Belgium, gave an overview of product conformity assessment in Arab countries.

To bring this interesting seminar to an end, the participants were invited to take part to a networking buffet in presence of Arab Economic Attachés.

Based on these testimonies, we can conclude that despite the recent transformations in the Arab world, major opportunities remain.

Multisectoral Economic Mission to Jordan and Lebanon

05-10 October 2015

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On 05th October 2015, a 34-member delegation comprising 17 Belgian companies from the three Regions of Belgium (Brussels, Flanders, and Wallonia) landed in Amman in the framework of a Multisectorial Economic Mission to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Lebanese Republic from 5 to 10 October 2015.

This Economic Mission, organized in close cooperation with AWEX, BIE, FIT, and the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, was presided over by H.E. Mrs. Cecile Jodogne, Belgian Minister in charge of Foreign Trade for the Brussels-Capital Region.

Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Amman – 05 to 07 October 2015

image017Official visit to the Jordan Chamber of Commerce

Both the public and private sectors are looking forward to working with the Belgian delegation to discover new opportunities, open new channels and enhance ties that already exist between the two countries.

H.E. Mrs Maha Ali, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Supply, Official Opening Session at the Hotel Intercontinental

On Tuesday 06th October, the official opening of the Mission was launched in Amman, Jordan, in presence of H.E. Mrs Cécile Jodogne and H.E. Mrs. Maha Ali, Jordanian Minister of Industry, Trade, and Supply.

His Excellency Hendrik Van de Velde, Ambassador of Belgium to Jordan, offered his valuable support to the delegation which called on High dignitaries during the two days of joint meetings.

Indeed, meetings with the Jordan Chamber of Commerce, the Jordan Chamber of Industry, bilateral meetings with Jordanian and Iraqi companies, along with onsite visits of the Royal Automobile Club, the Civil Defense Directorate and a visit to the great Amman Municipality were scheduled on the rather full agenda of the Delegation.

Tuesday 06th October in the afternoon, the delegation was also invited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tractebel Engineering’s presence in Jordan.

Likewise, the Belgian delegation was kindly invited for lunch by the Amman Chamber of Commerce, and Belgian Ambassador hosted a reception for the whole delegation at his residence.

Lebanese Republic, Beyrouth – 08 to 10 October 2015

image018Fltr: H.E.M. Alex Lenaerts, H.E. Mrs. Cécile Jodogne, H.E.M. Alain Hakim, Mr. Qaisar Hijazin - Official Opening Session, Beyrouth, Lebanon

Despite political difficulties at a national level and the economic and social consequences resulting from the conflict in Syria , Lebanon still offers a certain number of Opportunities that makes the country a unique platform for investments.

H.E. Dr. Alain Hakim, Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade, Official Opening Session at the Hotel le Phoenicia

On Thursday 08th October, the official opening of the second part of the Mission took place in Beyrouth, Lebanon, in presence of H.E. Mrs Cécile Jodogne and H.E. Dr. Alain Hakim, Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade.

During these two days H.E.M. Alex Lenaerts, Ambassador of Belgium to the Lebanese Republic, was present with the delegation which enjoyed a varied and well-rounded programme.

The official delegation had the opportunity to meet with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture of Beyrouth and Mont-Liban, the Development and Reconstruction Council, H.E.M. Arthur Nazarian, Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water resources, as well as with H.E. Dr. Alain Hakim, Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade, the Société Libanaise pour le Développement et la reconstruction du centre-ville de Beyrouth (SOLIDERE), the Instutute for Industrial Research, and Rassemblement des Dirigeants et Chefs d’Entreprises Libanais.

Furthermore, the Belgian delegation was cordially invited for lunch by Dr. François Bassil, President of the Byblos Bank, then for a cocktail at the Belgian Ambassador’s residence.

Finally, to bring an end to this economic Mission filled with high-quality events, a farewell dinner was hosted by the Belgian Business Council in Lebanon.

Trade between the three countries mainly involves exports from Belgium to Jordan and Lebanon. However, this visit is expected to further strengthen the ever increasing trade and economic relations between the countries.

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