2nd edition, 2017

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Chamber News and Recent Activities

Roundtable Meeting: PalTrade and OXFAM Delegation

28 September 2017


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 also 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!

Seminar “Doing Business with Arab Countries”

04 October 2017


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 will 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.


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.

Import-Export Club: GCC countries

20 October 2017


On Friday, 20 October 2017, Mr. Qaisar HIJAZIN, General Secretary at the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, was delighted to lead a working-group on “doing business with GCC countries” on the occasion of the 4th encounter of the Import-Export Club, organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Walloon Brabant.

In this respect, the participants were delighted to get to know more on the services made available to them by the ABLCC to assist them in planning, developing, and managing their business in Arab countries and, in this case, in the GCC.

Participants, were also keen to learn more on the economic context of the GCC countries.

To bring this interesting meeting to a close, participants discovered the newly renovated premises of Schoeps and its packaging line.

Messe Frankfurt Seminar: United Arab Emirates

23 October 2017


On Monday, 23 October 2017, Mr. Qaisar HIJAZIN, Secretary General at the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, had the pleasure to make a presentation on the occasion of the Seminar “Your way to the United Arab Emirates” hosted by Messe Frankfurt, Flanders Investment and Trade, and the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.

Thanks to Mr. Hijazin presentation, the participants were delighted to get to know more on the UAE such as the history, recent statistics on commercial exchanges, the business environment, the business culture, along with the various services made available to them by the ABLCC to assist them in planning, developing, and managing their business in Arab countries and, in this case, in the UAE.

Saudi Arabia - Belgium Business Forum:“Vision 2030: Towards a Smart Partnership”

21 November 2017


On 21 November 2017, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Council of Saudi Chambers and AGORIA, had the pleasure to welcome a delegation of businessmen from Saudi Arabia.

On this occasion, the ABLCC organized a Business Forum followed by a lunch in presence of the delegation and B2B meetings.

Mr. Johan BEERLANDT, Chairman of the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and Sheikh Hassan Isam AL KABBANI, Honorary Consul of Belgium in Saudi Arabia, opened this Business Forum by welcoming nearly 100 participants.

Mr. Johan BEERLANDT stressed the importance of the relations with Saudi Arabia at both European and Belgian level. Saudi Arabia is the first trading partner for the European Union as regards trade with Arab countries

As far as Belgium is concerned, Belgian imports from Saudi Arabia have seen a 40% increase! Indeed, Belgian imports rose from 1.5 billion EUR in 2014 to 2.2 billion EUR in 2016, which shows a positive and encouraging evolution for the future.


Sheikh Hassan Isam AL KABBANI took this opportunity to highlight the prosperous international relationships of Belgium. Thanks to its economy and its investment environment, Belgium attracted about 33 billion dollars of foreign investment in 2016 and represents 21.3% of the total exports of the EU. Belgium is also the 10th country importing from Saudi Arabia.

Although both countries can already be proud of these figures, Belgium and Saudi Arabia will unite their efforts to enhance total foreign trade between the two countries.


As regards the seminar per see, Mr. Ziad AL SUBBALY, Marketing specialist, gave an in-depth presentation on the Saudi Export Program. Among other things, he underlined the non-oil sectors growth in Saudi Arabia during these last years.

We invite belgian business owners to participate in the implementation of the investment programs embodied in the vision 2030 of the kingdom of saudi arabia, which included many commercial and investment opportunities suitable for belgian businessmen in various fields: high technology, transports, logistics, ict, health, and education.


Thanks to the intervention of Mr. Basem ALSALLOM, Deputy Governor, Saudi Arabia General Investment (SAGIA), the attendees were given a comprehensive presentation on Saudi Arabia economic context and opportunities, and more precisely on its Vision 2030.

The ensuing question-time highlighted the genuine interest of Belgian entrepreneurs for the new vision 2030 and the Saudi Market!

After the Business Forum, participants could enjoy a lunch in presence of the Saudi Business Delegation and nurture their relationships.

To bring this interesting day to a close, the attendees had the chance to take part to particularly fruitful B2B Meetings with the Saudi Business Delegation.

This day demonstrated the common will of the two Kingdoms to expand their partnership!

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