3rd edition, 2016

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Chamber News and Recent Activities

Exportbeurs: "Export to the Arab World: we put all our skills and know-how at your service"

27-29 June 2016

Exportbeurs

The Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce was proud to take part to the premiere of the “Exportbeurs” of Flanders Investment & Trade, organized from 27 until 29 June 2016 at Tour&Taxis.

The Exportbeurs, which brought together all relevant experts for international business, represented an excellent opportunity to get an answer to all questions regarding international entrepreneurship, and to get in touch with all relevant stakeholders.

On this occasion, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce also held a workshop on "Export to the Arab World: we put all our skills and know-how at your service", on Wednesday, 29 June 2016.

This was a great occasion for the participants to learn more about how to do business with the Arab world and about all the services available to them. Our experts also provided advice about all practical steps that have to be taken.

The following speakers were on the agenda of the workshop:

  • Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, Secretary General - ABLCC, "the Arab world a key partner: the ablcc at your service"+ "How to do business in the Arab World: cultural aspects"
  • Mr. Sam Vandenbergh, Project Manager - ABLCC, "Visa service"
  • Mr. Peter van Blanckenbergh, Sales Executive PCA - SGS, "Product Conformity Assessment in Arab countries"
  • Mr. Wim Bosman, Business Development Advisor - Delcredere/Ducroire, "Delcredere | Ducroire – The Belgian Export Credit Agency"

You have missed this event and still want to learn more about doing business with Arab countries? Do not hesitate to get in touch with the ABLCC team This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

21 September 2016

Doing Business with the Arab CountriesFltr: 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 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 CountriesFltr: 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 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, the time of a presentation, on a Qatar Airways flight 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 the Prices attractive

Economic Mission to Tunisia

02-05 October 2016

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Key Event

On 29-30 November 2016, the 2016-2020 Development Plan along with the new investment code of Tunisia, aiming at boosting the economic attractiveness of the country, will be presented officially during the International Conference "Tunisia 2020". This conference which is keenly awaited by investors represents a good occasion for Belgian Eutrepreneurs to learn more about investment opportunities in Tunisia!

On 02nd October 2016, a 25-member delegation comprising 15 Belgian companies from the Brussels-Capital Region and Wallonia landed in Tunis in the framework of an Economic Mission to the Tunisian Republic, organized in close cooperation with AWEX, BIE, and the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.

This Economic Mission, presided over by H.E. Mrs. Cecile Jodogne, State Secretary of the Brussels-Capital Region, in charge of Foreign Trade, was an ideal occasion for Belgian and Luxembourgish entrepreneurs, specialized in the construction and infrastructure sectors, to get first-hand information about the Tunisian market thanks to information sessions and business visits. This was also a rich opportunity to exchange with potential partners through B2B meetings and networking events.

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On the first day, During a visit to the Ministry of Equipment, Housing and Territorial Development, in presence of H.E. Mrs. Cecile Jodogne and H.E.M. Mohamed Salah Arfaoui, Tunisian Minister of Equipment, Housing and Territorial Development, the delegation could learn more about major development projects in Tunisia such as road construction and modernization projects, construction of social housing, as well as the construction of a new bridge over the Bizerte Canal. What is more, we have learned that with a population of around 11 million, the country faces a shortage of at least 50.000 new homes.

In the Afternoon, Mr. Rudolf Mecs, Managing Director of Studiotech Belgium, officially signed, in presence of His Excellency Michel Tilemans, Belgian Ambassador to Tunisia and Her Excellency Cécile Jodogne, a letter of intent and co-operation for leading edge, audiovisual equipment, with Mena Media Group, Tunisia.

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On the second day of the Economic Mission, Mr. Pascal Bauwens, Director General of CFE-CTE, took the delegation around Tunis in order to visit their construction sites. The Group CFE-CTE is currently working on 17 construction sites and employs more or less 1000 workers. The successful experience of this Belgian company in Tunisia is the living proof that Tunisia offers interesting opportunities for Belgian-Tunisian collaboration.

To crown this interesting economic Mission, H.E.M. Michel Tilemans, who accompanied the delegation throughout the economic mission, hosted a cocktail reception on the last evening, which was a further opportunity to network.

Courtesy visit to the new Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the Kingdom of Belgium

21 October 2016

image014H.E.M. Jasem Mohamed ALBUDAIWI, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the Kingdom of Belgium and Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, Secretary General of the ABLCC

H.E.M. Jasem Mohamed ALBUDAIWI has been appointed as new Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the Kingdom of Belgium.

On this occasion, Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, Secretary General of the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, paid a courtesy visit to His Excellency ALBUDAIWI on 21 October 2016. They both seized this opportunity to discuss ways of cooperation to strengthen trade, economic, as well as cultural relations between the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Belgium.

His Excellency ALBUDAIWI has shown a genuine interest in giving a new impetus to bilateral relations and strenghten cooperation given the deep relationship between both countries as well as the many opportunities and positive economic developments offered by the State of Kuwait.

Indeed, the new five-year development plan 2015-2020 focuses on diversification to fuel Kuwaiti economy and project market. it sets up a series of initiatives to attract quality local and foreign investments, by creating the right investment environment, simplifying procedures, enabling a favorable legislative framework for the encouragement and protection of investment, and offering a host of incentives and exemptions, including allowing for a 100% foreign ownership.

In this vein, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce took part to the Kuwait Investment Forum organized by the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority on 08-09 March 2016 in Kuwait. Likewise, on 02 May 2016, Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, took part to the Ceremony marking the completion of the masterplan project for Q8Oils Blending Plant Antwerp.

Business Breakfast: Bahrain Businesswomen Society

09 November 2016

Business breakfast : Bahrain Businesswomen Society

The Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce welcomed a delegation from the Bahrain Businesswomen's Society (BBWS) and the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). The Delegation was headed by Mrs. Feryal Abdulla Nass, President of BBWS, along with Ms. Afnan Al Zayani and Ms. Ahlam Janahi, from BCCI, and consisted of ten businesswomen representing various economic sectors (e.g. health, logistics, furniture, etc.).

On this occasion, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce organized, in close collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in Brussels, a business breakfast attended by a number of Belgian businesswomen and businessmen, regional commercial agencies, representatives from the European Parliament, and members of the Arab diplomatic corps in Brussels.

This business breakfast was a great opportunity to explore cooperation between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Kingdom of Belgium, as well as to promote Investment opportunities in Bahrain.

After a welcoming address by the Secretary General of the ABLCC, H.E. Dr. Bahiya Jawad ALJISHI, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain, called for the need to strengthen relations, at all levels, between both countries and expressed full readiness to cooperate with all parties and to make every effort to reach this goal. Her Excellency also put forward the need to organize meetings and visits between both countries with a view to serve their common interests, and to take advantage of the business opportunities, the business-friendly climate, and the various incentives offered to foreign investors.

Business Breakfast: Bahrain Businesswomen Society

Mrs. Feryal Abdulla Nass, President of BBWS, highlighted the key role of Bahraini women at all levels of society, be it in the economic, cultural, social, artistic or political field. The Bahrain Businesswomen Society, founded in 2000 by a group of businesswomen, fosters the empowerment of women locally and globally and recognizes that women play a crucial in the development and sustainable success of societies and economies.

Mrs. Afnan Al Zayani, member of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, called attention to the leading role played by women in their Chamber of Commerce and pointed up the fact that members of the Board of Directors were elected and not appointed members, which shows the confidence in the role of women in the Bahraini society.

The participants learned more about Business Friendly Bahrain thanks to a film presentation by the Bahrain Economic Development Board.

The Belgian association “Femmes Chefs d’Enterprise”, represented by Mrs. Murielle Eyletters, President Femmes Chefs d’Entreprise, as well as by 4 other businesswomen, played an active part in the Business breakfast organized by the ABLCC. This was a great occasion for all of them to discuss opportunities and to build mutually beneficial business relationships. It has been agreed to sign an agreement of understanding and cooperation between both parties before the end of this year in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce is delighted with the positive outcome of this event and wishes all of them the best of success!

Lunch-Conference with H.E.M. Didier Reynders as guest speaker

17 November 2016

Lunch-Conference with H.E.M. Didier Reynders as guest speaker

As is the custom, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce has brought together its board members, Arab Ambassadors accredited in Belgium and Luxembourg, and its members, for a lunch-conference in hotel Steigenberger, on the occasion of its meeting of the Board of Directors on 17 November 2016.

This year, the ABLCC has had the honour to welcome H.E.M. Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, as its guest speaker.

In his welcome speech, Mr. Johan Beerlant, Chairman of the ABLCC, thanked His Excellency Reynders for his readiness to respond to the Chamber’s requests and for his continual support.

Your Excellency, your presence here today proves your strong engagement vis à vis Belgian-Arab relations and the recognition of our efforts to create valuable ties between our various economies and people.

Mr. Johan Beerlandt

He also expressed his sincere thanks and gratitude to the Arab Diplomatic Corps in Belgium and Luxembourg, whose continued support is essential to pursue the mission of the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and ensure the success of its events.

Lunch-Conference with H.E.M. Didier Reynders as guest speaker

H.E.M. Didier Reynders then took the floor and elaborated on "the challenges and perspectives of Belgian and European relations with the Arab World”.

His Excellency Reynders condemned the heinous attacks that hit Belgium in March 2016 and reminded that it was an attack on the international community as 20 different nationalities were among the victims.

H.E. Mr. Reynders called for stronger international cooperation in order to build inclusive societies with an economic growth benefitting all.

The Arab world and Europe have to cooperate to face the current challenges and turn them into opportunities.

HEM Didier Reynders

He Highlighted the fact that many Arab countries have implemented reforms to enhance development opportunities, adding that “the EU intends to strengthen its support and mobilize the available instruments to assist those countries. Belgium fully subscribes to this approach”.

As a conclusion, H.E. Mr. Reynders said that, in this changing world with many crises and plenty of uncertainties, multiple challenges are lying ahead and that the way forward does not lie in isolation or in confrontation but rather in collaboration.

We thank all the participants for coming in such a large number and for their continuing trust and support!

Moroccan Business men and women visit Brussels

24 November 2016

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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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