Meeting with Egyptian Minister Dr. Sahar Nasr

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Egyptian Minister Sahar Nasr

Egyptian minister of Investment Sahar Nasr’s European Tour is a success On Tuesday October 16th, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, in close collaboration with the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and the Egyptian embassy, organized a Round Table on the occasion of the visit to Luxembourg of H.E. Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egyptian Minister for Investment and International Cooperation. For Dr. Nasr, who met with 20 Luxembourg companies, it was the start of a European investment tour.

“Recently, Egypt has adopted an ambitious economic stimulus plan encompassing a number of national megaprojects such as the construction of the New Administrative Capital, a world-class free zone and trade hub along the banks of the newly-expanded Suez Canal, and the largest solar site in Africa. With all these projects among many others, the Egyptian market continues to be the leading market in the region offering unprecedented opportunities capturing the attention of the international investors”, stated Minister Nasr.

There are a number of sectors that are promising both for Luxembourg and Egyptian companies such as ICT, film business, the start-up sector, renewable energy, green bonds and logistics. Luxembourg and Egypt decided to establish a joint committee for economic, technical, and investment cooperation.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), situated in Luxembourg, signed an agreement with the Egyptian government for 214 million euro to support the Kitchener Drain depollution project. This initiative will improve the sanitation and solid waste services for about 6 million people in the Nile delta region (north Egypt). As Minister Sahar Nasr toured in Europe, we learned that the World Bank (WB) has pledged 3 billion dollars for infrastructure projects in the Sinai peninsula - a direct result of negotiations between Egypt’s investment Minister and the WB.

Today, Egypt and the European Union signed agreements for comprehensive growth and job creation, and to combat the challenges of migration in Egypt, with a total value of 135 million euro. The first agreement should allow “to carry out reforms to reduce the burden on the small and medium entreprises (sme’s) sector by facilitating its access to long-term financing as well as facilitating business relations and fostering innovation among sme entrepreneurs”, said Minister Nasr. The program will support seven projects in 15 Egyptian governorates.

To learn more about the investment opportunities in Egypt, please consult the website of Invest in Egypt, www.investinegypt.gov.eg. Belgian and Luxembourg companies with questions about business projects in Egypt can contact the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (ABLCC) via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

9th edition of the seminar « Doing Business with Arab Countries »

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Doing Business with Arab Countries SGS 2018

Belgian companies are motivated to expand their business activities in the Arab world

On 02 October 2018, many Belgian companies gathered in Antwerp in the offices of SGS to share business practices with a fine selection of Arab and Belgian experts, chambers of commerce, enterprises and diplomats. Yes, the Arab world is confronted with a lot of challenges but is still fully recognized as a rewarding environment for investments in the global economy.

Mr. Qaisar HIJAZIN, Secretary-General of the Arab Belgian Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (ABLCC), was proud to welcome numerous big and small companies from very different economic sectors, and representatives from Arab embassies present in Brussels, the capital of Europe. He was glad to see that Belgian companies are really motivated to take part to this yearly tradition called “Doing Business with Arab Countries : Theory and Practice”.

Mr. Yahya Elwathik BELLAH, Minister Plenipotentiary - Commercial Office at the Embassy of Egypt, gave an overview of the multiple economic reforms realized by the Egyptian government. Doing business in Egypt is now easier than in the past, as confirmed by different international and financial institutions. The construction of a new capital 15km from Cairo, the activities around the Suez Canal, the creation of economic zones and the revision and simplification of the economic legislation creates numerous opportunities for companies.

And what about the Gulf ? Mr. Houssam Nasrawin, CEO of investment and advisory firm GDC partners, is active in the region from his office in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates - UAE). The countries in this part of the Arab world are investing in new economic sectors now that the price of oil continues its downward trend. Belgian and Luxembourg companies active in finance, distribution, infrastructure, tourism, etc. are advised to keep this in mind. But don’t think you will automatically be successful in the Gulf because you are great in Belgium, Luxembourg or Europe : being well prepared for meetings with your Arab counterparts and really knowing the country and sectors you have in mind is essential.

Doing buiness with arab countries 2018

If you export products to Saudi-Arabia, the biggest country in the Gulf, you have to be aware of the legislation when it comes to conformity of your products. Thanks to a conference-call broadcasted during the seminar, Eng. Wajih Bin Muhamad MUNSHI from SASO (Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organisation) explained the ins and outs of the requirements.

Mr. Jozef SOMERS, Operation Manager of SGS (a partner of ABLCC, active in inspection, verification, testing and certification) explained the services his company can deliver along with the Web-based Innovations made by SGS.

Time for discussion and debate

Mrs. Evelien Staelens, Area Manager Middle East & North Africa at FIT (Flanders Investment & Trade) moderated a debate with three Belgian companies successful in the various Arab countries. Mrs. Monique LEMPEREUR (Continental Carbon – industrial rubber and carbon), Mr. Hendrik VAN PASSEL (Medic Clean Air – medical devices) and Mr. Malik BOUKEBBOUS (DEME – dredging, infra marine solutions, etc.) talked about their experiences in the Arab world. They do agree that doing business in Arab countries is very fascinating. They will continue to work in the region and are motivated to expand their businesses overseas. And yes, they advise other Belgian companies not to forget this region of the world so close to Europe. But, of course, as a Belgian and Luxembourg company you have to understand the cultural differences between Europe and the MENA-region (Middle East and North Africa) and do your homework. Be well prepared before starting negotiation with Arab governments and enterprises.

Before joining an excellent buffet, the companies present at the seminar in Antwerp had the opportunity to join workshops with Mr. BELLAH (Embassy of Egypt) and Mr. NASRAWIN (GDC Partners). This was an excellent opportunity for our Belgian friends to obtain more detailed answers to their specific questions about doing business in Egypt and in the 6 Gulf countries. Much appreciated.

Do not hesitate to contact the ABLCC if you would like to receive the PowerPoint presentations of this successful Antwerp seminar.

The Arab Belgian Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (ABLCC) in Brussels continues to inform and support companies from the Flemish, Brussels and Walloon region with their business plans for all the Arab countries. If you have any questions about exporting to an Arab country, don’t hesitate to send us an email via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Lunch-Conference with HEM Mohamed Issa ABUSHAHAB, Ambassador of the UAE in Brussels

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Ambassador Abushahab United Arab Emirates

We have chosen 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future' as the overarching theme of the World Expo which Dubai will host in 2020… Through that theme, Expo 2020 Dubai provides a platform to foster creativity, collaboration and ideas on a global scale.
HEM Mohamed Issa ABUSHAHAB, Ambassador of the UAE in Brussels

On the occasion of its Board meeting and Assembly General, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce found it opportune to organize a Lunch-conference on "Opportunity and Investment: Deepening the UAE's Economic Partnerships".

And who better than the Ambassador of the UAE himself, His Excellency Mohamed Issa ABUSHAHAB, could give us a more valuable insight on the matter?

During his presentation, Ambassador Abushahab explained that “enabling business to thrive is a key motivator in the UAE”. Adding that the UAE stable and strong economic context is characterized by flexibility and diversity, and that they are constantly reforming their commercial legislative landscape to ensure it is at the forefront of global institutional excellence.

HE Abushahab underlined the fact that The UAE is ranked 21st globally by the World Bank for ease of doing business, and 17th in terms of global competitiveness. Recalling that the UAE is unparalleled in terms of its regional and global connectivity. “We are a leader in the global logistics index, excelling in international shipments, customs, infrastructure, and timeliness.”

Lunch conférence United Arab Emirates opt

He then continued his analysis by giving the audience further insights on UAE's Vision 2021 and Expo 2020.

He also drew attention to the fact that EXPO 2020, for which more than 170 countries have confirmed their participation, will act as a unique gateway to the Middle East, also targeting vital markets in Africa and South Asia.

This event was also a great occasion for the participants to meet face-to-face with His Excellency Abushahab and to expand their network as it gathered together distinguished guests from the Arab world (such as the Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers), Arab Ambassadors, Belgian Agencies for foreign trade, Representatives from the Belgian and Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, and Belgian and Luxembourg Enterprises.

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Dr. Khaled Hanafi, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers

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Dr. Khaled HANAFI UNION OF ARAB CHAMBERS

This week, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce has had the honour to welcome Dr. Khaled HANAFI, new Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers.

Mr. Hanafi, who took part to the Board meeting of the ABLCC and to the subsequent Lunch-conference with the Ambassador of the UAE as Guest of Honour, stressed the need to bring about a change in the relations between Arab countries and the EU: the EU could be considered a major partner of the Arab Region.

In this sense, Dr. Hanafi took advantage of his visit to Belgium to meet with Mr. Michael A. KÖHLER, Director Neighbourhood, Directorate -General for Development Cooperation at the European Commission.

He also explained that one should not simply consider the access to the number of citizens in the Arab Region but also and more importantly the access to more than 2 billion citizens based on trade agreements.

Last but not least, Dr. Hanafi underscored the need to shift from traditional trade and investments to strategic economic partnerships.

Wallonia Export Days / Exportbeurs

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Wallonia export days Exportbeurs

The Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce is proud to have taken part to the Wallonia Export days organized by AWEX as well as to the Exportbeurs organized by Flanders Investment & Trade.

We are proud to put our 40-year expertise in doing business with Arab countries at your service!

If you did not get the chance to meet us during the Wallonia Export days or the Exportbeurs, do not hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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