AACC Events & Activities 2014

28 November 2014 | 23rd General Assembly & 24th Meeting of the Board of Directors
of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce


On 28 November 2014, the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce invited Their Excellencies the Arab Ambassadors and Arab Diplomatic Corps, together with the AACC’s board of directors and members to attend the chamber’s 23rd General Assembly, together with the 24th Meeting of the Board of Directors at the “House of Trade” in Vienna.

GA 1
AACC Board of Directors



GA 10The President of the AACC Dr. Richard SCHENZ opened the meeting by welcoming all participants and sharing an expert’s view over the current economic situation and developments in Europe, the Arab countries and in the global context. The Secretary General Eng. KHOUJA informed the board and members about the position, activities and membership issues of the AACC as of November 2013 until November 2014. In the statement of the auditors, Mr. Albert KRONBERGER and Member of the Viennese Parliament Dipl.-Ing. Omar AL-RAWI certified the bookkeeping performance, whereas Treasurer Mr. Wolfgang KABUREK presented the financial report for 2013.





GA 2

 Left to right: VP Hafez – SG Khouja – President Schenz – VP Kuzbari – VP Gausterer – MR. Kaburek

In his statement, Vice-President Nabil KUZBARI pointed on the present conflicts in the Arab region, and the negative role of the media by blaming religion and “Islam” for the political crises happening in the region. He identified the AACC’s duty to inform its members and partners about the “real” Islam, referring to its tolerance and true values. Serving the common interest to improve trade, Vice‑President Henry HAFEZ identified the power of personal human relations and economy as the key to overcome problems caused by media or other factors. He therefore recommended a strong cooperation with the AACC, to build up and strengthen the personal network and relations in the region. Vice-President Prof. Reinhart GAUSTERER also approved the statements.


GA 3 GA 4


During the Session, the General Assembly elected some high-profile new members of the Board of Directors: Prof. DI Dr. Heinz BRANDL, President of the Austrian Society of Engineers and Architects (ÖIAV); Mr. Andreas GNESDA, President of the Austrian Association for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises; Dr. Leopold HENINGER, CEO of Voith Hydro GmbH; Dr. Kari KAPSCH, CEO of Kapsch CarrierCom AG; Ing. Karl-Heinz STRAUSS, Director General of PORR AG and Mr. Nafez ALAYYAN, Member of the Board of Jordan Chamber of Commerce.


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Left to right: Prof. Brandl – Mr. Gnesda – Dr. Heninger – Dr. Kapsch


In addition to a large number of AACC member companies and 11 representatives from the Arab Diplomatic Corps - including two Ambassadors that were present, this year’s General Assembly was particularly honoured by the participation of Arab board representatives who were especially coming from abroad to attend this meeting: H.E. Mr. Abdullah Sultan AL‑OWAIS, President of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Khaled AL-KUWARI, representing H.E. Shaykh Khalifa Bin Jassim AL THANI, President of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Mr. Ahmed AL-CHIHABI, Chairman & CEO from Aleppo Pharmaceutical Industries LLC.

23-24 November 2014 | AACC attends the 16th Arab Investors Forum in Cairo

The Vice-President of the AACC KommR Nabil KUZBARI and Secretary General Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA attended the “16th Arab Businessmen and Investors Forum” – focus on “Investment in Egypt: Investing in the Future” and the First Egyptian Investment Forum in Cairo, Egypt from 23-24 November 2014. The high-level Forum gathered state presidents, ministers, politicians, businessmen, and other high level representatives from Arab and other countries, to discuss together prospects and future of investment in Egypt. Mr. Herbert SCHEIBNER, former Minister of Defense of Austria, was also attending this event.


Back row: Vice-President Nabil Kuzbari (3rd from left) – H.E. Adnan Kassar (7th from right)
Front row: SG Mouddar Khouja (3rd from left)

On the sidelines of the event, the Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs of the League of Arab States H.E. Dr. Mohammad AT-TWAIJRY and H.E. Minister pp. Jamila MATAR, Head of the Energy Department of the League of Arab States, received a delegation of Secretaries General of the Joint-Arab Chambers, to discuss new approaches and methods to intensify future cooperation with the Arab League especially in the field of renewable energy. It was agreed that official Arab institutions should be approached at least once a year to discuss this most important topic.


H.E. Dr. At-Twaijry (center front row) with delegates



11 November 2014 |President of Amman Chamber of Commerce visits AACC


   Followed by a generous invitation for lunch by the Vice-President of the AACC, Mr. Nabil KUZBARI, the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce welcomed Senator H.E. Issa Haidar MURAD, Chairman of Amman Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Nafez ALAYYAN, Second Vice Chairman of the Amman Chamber of Commerce and designated member of the Board of Directors of the in Vienna on 11 November 2014. The meeting was attended by the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to Austria, H.E. Mr. Hussam Al Husseini.



The Secretary General of the AACC, Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA suggested to strengthen the cooperation between Austria and Jordan in the field of renewable energies, as Austria has achieved a great progress in the field on the European and global level.


H.E. Senator MURAD, who is also President of the Jordan-European Business Association (JEBA) expressed his support for the proposal, stressing that his visit is aimed on discussing ways to strengthen economic and trade cooperation between Austria and Jordan on the private sector level.


He pointed out that Jordan is pursuing a number of legislative and economic reforms to promote the development and intensification of the role of the private sector in Jordan, in addition to the promising investment opportunities and facilities offered by the Kingdom of Jordan to investors in many areas.





31 October 2014 | AACC hosting Closing Reception and Get-Together with UNIDO Delegates and Diplomatic Corps



On Friday, 31 October 2014, the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and its cooperation partners, the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WKW), the Vienna Business Agency and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) were hosting a Reception and Get-Together in the honourable historical hall of the “House of Trade” in Vienna.




The Reception marked the final closing event for the UNIDO Global Executive Programme with focus on “The Future of Manufacturing: Trends and Policy Options”, which was held from 27-31 October 2014 in Austria. The program brought decision makers, experts and representatives of numerous international industry ministries - including ministers, state secretaries and directors - together to discuss trends and concepts for sustainable industrial development and production in the global context, and to develop strategies for future implementation. The high-level delegates were coming Argentina, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Iran, Jordan, Laos, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, St. Lucia, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Turkey and Uruguay.


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17 September  2014 | AACC participates in Panel Discussion on “Cooperation during Conflict - Possibilities of Technical Cooperation in the Middle East






On 17 September 2014, the Secretary General of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce, Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA, was invited as one of four expert speakers at a panel discussion focusing on "Cooperation during Conflict – Possibilities of Technical Cooperation in the Middle East" at the Vienna University of Technology.


The panel discussion was organised by the Engineering Cooperation, an initiative of graduates of different scientific and technological universities in Austria, who want to combine their acquired knowledge and socio-economic engagement by taking responsibility through supporting innovative approaches in technical, economic as well as political collaborations.



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Mag. Anton MAIR, Deputy Director General of Development Cooperation and Head of Evaluation, Development Policy and Strategy at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs presented an overview about Austria's development cooperation policy in the field of education. He mentioned the dual and tertiary education as main focus areas, and informed the audience about recent programmes to strengthen and develop cooperation between educational institutions through scholarships, capacity and cluster building and student exchange programmes. Austria shares USD 5,9 Million on development aid in the Palestinian territories, and is working together with the Palestinian National Authority, local NGOs and capacities, educational institutions and humanitarian organisations, he informed.

For DI Helmut JUNG, project leader and Professor at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences of Vienna (in retirement), the transfer of scientific knowledge for technical cooperation in conflict areas needs the consideration of socio-economic factors and the dialogue with the local conflict parties. "Conflict" – in opposite to "war" – can also lead to new solutions and approaches; therefore, scientists should try to understand the conflict, and incorporate this knowledge, together with the consideration of natural and technical components, into their scientific approach, he advised. In a short field report, DI JUNG also referred to his own work experience in Gaza, Palestine in 1996-7, where a project for a water desalination plant was finally successfully installed in a joint project supported by the Austrian Development Agency, the Palestinian Water Authority, the Islamic University and the Bir Zeit University, while they had to overcome several conflicts, barriers and obstacles imposed to the Palestinian expert team.

Mag. Christian LASSNIG, Trade Delegate of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in Israel and Palestine from 2007 until 2013, gave an insight about the challenges of operating economic offices in conflict areas, and referred to recent temporary closings of offices in Bagdad, Damascus and Tripolis. On the other hand, Austria's trade volume with Middle Eastern countries of crises such as Iraq, Egypt or Tunisia was nevertheless showing a stable continuity, except for Syria. By comparing Israel and the Palestinian territories regarding general economic data and Austria's flow of commodities, Mag. LASSNIG gave an indication about the immediate interrelation of economic disadvantages and conflicts. He defined the role of Austria's economy in active conflict intervention between Israelis and the Palestinians as reluctant, explaining that an apparent economic involvement towards one conflict party could immediately cause mistrust and irritation among the other party. The destruction of solar panels - installed by the NGO Comet-me to provide Palestinian Bedouins in Hebron with electricity - by Israeli settlers in March 2014, was just another recent example of how difficult it could be not only to implement cooperation projects, but to keep them sustainable in areas of conflicts and crises.

Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA, the Secretary General of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC), presented an expert's insight on the great role and economic potential of the Arab countries. He stated that the region which covers a vast area of 13 million sqm, does not only hold 63% of the world's natural oil and 21% of the world's gas reserves, but is also considerable market and potential of human resources with its 330 million inhabitants. He identified various sectors for cooperation possibilities, including agriculture, transport, IT, health, banking, tourism, education and energy, and connected recent revolutions and political developments in some countries with tendencies to fight corruption, install proper governance and transparency and support economic growth. Successful economic cooperation does also depend on general conditions and requirements, as Eng. KHOUJA explained: Austrian companies are therefore recommended to involve into strategic partnerships with international enterprises to realize greater projects; the issuance of visas for businessmen should be less bureaucratic; Austrian politicians should offer their support and lobbying to back their country's economic activities and interaction with Arab partner countries. A thorough understanding, sensitivity and respect towards their partner's culture, language and religion was also a key factor for successful economic cooperation, he informed. In response to the question whether economic interests in a region can also enforce immediate involvement through external powers, Eng. Khouja referred to what was happening in Libya during the last revolution in this context. Political instability, corruption, different understandings of migration and economic interaction, as well as differing interests to realize an economic partnership can impose challenges for sustainable economic cooperation, he concluded.

The following discussion with the audience was moderated by Eng. Stefanie PICHLER from the organizing Engineering Cooperation.


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ودعا الخوجه الشركات النمساوية إلى بالدخول في شراكات استراتيجية مع المؤسساتالدوليةلتنفيذ مشاريع ذات حجم أكبر، مطالبا الجهات المعنية بضرورة تسهيل إصدارتأشيرات دخول لرجال الأعمال، وتقديم الساسة النمساويون الدعم وكسب التأييد لدعمالأنشطة الاقتصادية لبلادهموالتفاعلمع الدولالعربية الشريكة. ولفت الخوجه إلى أن الفهم الشاملوالحساسية والاحترام تجاه ثقافة الشركاء واللغة والدين هي عوامل أساسيةللتعاونالاقتصادي الناجح.


وكانت مبادرة التعاونالهندسي، وهي مبادرة منخريجيمختلفالجامعاتالعلمية والتكنولوجيةفي النمسا، قد نظمت الحلقة النقاشية المتخصصة تنفيذا لاستراتيجيتها في دعم الطرقالمبتكرة فيالتقنية والاقتصادوكذلك التعاون في المجالالسياسيوالمشاركة الاجتماعية والاقتصادية.


وقد افتتح الجلسة البروفيسور أدلبرت برختل، نائب رئيس جامعة التكنولوجيا للشؤون الأكاديمية. ثم قدمت كل من المهندسة شتيفاني بيكا والمهندسة ماجدلينا بويرل المشاركتان في التنظيم، مقدمة موجزة حول الموضوعات المختارة بالجلسة، و التحديات التي تواجهالخبراء الفنيينللمشاركة فيالمشاريع والبرامجفي مناطق النزاعمثلبعض المناطقفي الشرقالأوسط.


وبدوره عرض السيد أنطون ماير، نائب المدير العام للتعاون الإنمائي ورئيسالتقييم والسياساتالإنمائيةوالاستراتيجيةفي وزارة الشؤون الخارجية والأوروبية والاندماج، لمحة عامةحولسياسة التعاون الإنمائيالنمساويفي مجالالتعليم، مؤكدا على أن التعليم العالي والمزدوج هما أحد المجالات الرئيسية التي يتم التركيز عليها، وأنه تم إنجاز العديد من البرامج في هذا المجال بغرض تعزيزوتطوير التعاونبين المؤسسات التعليميةمن خلال المنح الدراسيةوبناء القدرات وبرامج التبادل الطلابي. ولفت ماير إلى أن النمسا تقدم 5.9 مليون دولار مساعدات للتنميةفي الأراضي الفلسطينية، وتتعاون مع السلطةالوطنية الفلسطينيةوالمنظمات غير الحكوميةالمحليةوالمؤسسات التعليمية والمنظمات الإنسانية.

ومن جهته عبّر البروفيسور هيلموت يونج، رئيس المشروع والأستاذ المتقاعد في جامعةالموارد الطبيعيةوعلوم الحياة بفيينا، عن رأيه بأن نقل المعرفة العلميةفي مناطق النزاع يتطلب الأخذ في الاعتبار العوامل الاجتماعية والاقتصاديةوالحوار مع أطراف النزاع. وقال إن "النزاع" على العكس من " الحرب" يمكن أن يؤدي أيضاإلىحلولجديدة؛ومن ثَمّ يتعين على العلماءمحاولة فهمالنزاعات بالتوازي مع استيعاب المكوناتالطبيعيةوالتقنية.

واستعرض يونج تقريرا ميدانيا موجزا بلور فيه تجربته الشخصية عن العمل في قطاع غزة بين عامي 1996- 1997، والتي تضمنت نجاح مشروع محطة لتحلية المياههناك ضمن مشروع مشتركبدعم منوكالة التنميةالنمساوية، وهيئة المياه الفلسطينية والجامعة الإسلامية وجامعةبير زيت، وقد تم التغلب علىالعديد من المشاكل التي تعرض لها فريق العمل الفلسطيني منأطراف خارجية وداخلية.


وعرض كريستيان لاسينج المحلق التجاري النمساوي لدى إسرائيل وفلسطين بين عامي 2007 و2013، خبرته حول التحديات التي تواجه المكاتبالتجاريةفي مناطق النزاع، مشيرا إلى أنه تم مؤخرا إغلاق مؤقت للمكاتب التجارية النمساوية في كل من بغدادودمشق وطرابلس. ومن ناحية أخرى فإن حجم التبادل التجاري بين النمسا ودولالشرق الأوسط التي تعاني أزمات مثل العراقأو مصر أوتونس يشير إلى استقرار مستمر، باستثناءسوريا. ومقارنة بين إسرائيل والأراضيالفلسطينيةفيما يتعلق بالمعطيات الاقتصادية العامةوتدفق السلع النمساوية، أعطى لاسينج مؤشرا حولالعلاقة المتبادلةالفورية للعيوب الاقتصاديةوالصراعات. وقد عرّف دور الاقتصاد النمساوي في الصراع الدائر بين الإسرائيليينوالفلسطينيين بأنه متردد، موضحا أن التحزب الاقتصادي في صف طرف بعينه يؤدي إلى عدم الثقة وإثارة الطرف الآخر. وذكر لاسينج أن تدمير مستوطنين إسرائيليين في مارس 2014 للألواح الشمسية التي تم تثبيتها من قبلمنظمة Comet-me غير الحكومية المذنببغرض توفير الكهرباء للبدوالفلسطينيين في مدينةالخليل، كانمجرد مثال لمدى صعوبةتنفيذمشاريع التعاون والحفاظ على استدامتها في مناطقالصراعات والأزمات.





10-11 September 2014 | AACC participates in Forum on “Investment Prospects in Food Security and Mineral Resources” in Sudan


The Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) participated in the activities of"the Investment Prospects infood securityand Mineral Resources Forum" which was held in the Sudanese capitalKhartoumon 10 – 11September, 2014under the auspices ofthe President of the Republic of the Sudan, andjointly organized bythe General Union ofChambers of Commerce,Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries (Union of Arab Chambers / UAC) and the General Union of Sudanese Businessmen and in cooperation with the Ministries of Finance, Investment, Agricultureand Minerals as well as the Union ofSudaneseBanks.




The Forum was attended by a great number of officials, ministers, businessmen, Arab and foreign investors. At the opening session the Vice-President of Sudan H.E. Dr. Hassabu Mohamed ABDALRAHMAN, H.E. Adnan KASSAR, Honorary President of the UAC, H.E. Mr. Mohamadou Ould Mohamad MAHMOUD, President of the UAC, Mr. Musaed Mohammed AHMED, Head of the Union of Arab Banks and Mr. Saud AL BARBIR, President of the Federation of Sudanese Businessmen as well as the Forum’s guest of honor Sheikh Saleh Abdullah KAMEL delivered speeches.



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18-19 June 2014 | AACC participates in Ministerial Session of the Second Arab Forum for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Egypt



Energie Forum Ägypten Juni


Upon the invitation ofthe Department ofEnergyof the League of Arab States, the Secretary General of theAustro-Arab Chamber of Commerce Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA, moderated the ministerial session of the Second Arab Forum on Renewable Energyand Energy Efficiency. The forum was held from 18-19 June 2014, with the participation oftheLeague of Arab States, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA), the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and the EU-MED-ENEC Energy Efficiencyin the Construction Sectorin the Mediterranean.





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H.E. Dr.Mohamed SHAKER,Minister of Electricity andRenewable Energyof Egypt, H.E. Dr. Omar KATTANEH, Minister of Energy, Palestine, H.E. Dr.Mervat TALLAWI, Chairperson of the National Council for Women, Egypt, the Ambassador of India to Egypt H.E. NavdeebSURI, and Eng. Ahmed EL SEWEDY, President and CEO of Elsewedy Electric took part in this Ministerial Session.

In his speech, Eng. KHOUJApointed outthat the population in the Arab worldis doubling everythree decades, whileinWestern countries only every114years. Theenergy use per capita is ina continuous rise but the efficiency of the available energy is weak. The indicatorsshowthat the proportion ofconventional energy exceeds 65%, whilealternative and renewable energy is less than 35%.

Eng. KHOUJA emphasized the role of the Arab regionwith regard toenergy resources, whether traditionalorsustainableones. The Arab countries have about25-30% of the world's oil and natural gas, in addition to the sun, the largest source of sustainable and renewable energy, which is availablein these countries throughout the year, along with the availabilityof wind powerin some Arab countries. He pointed out thatalternative energyis notalien to theArab region, as the idea was already usedin the waterwheels of Hama in Syria and the MaaribDaminYemen.

H.E. Dr.Mohamed SHAKER,Minister of Electricity andRenewable Energyof Egypt explained that theeffortscarried out byEgyptin the field ofenergy productionare concentratedonwind energyandsolar thermal energydue to thegeographicalnatureof the country.He noted thatthere are plansto produceatomic energyfor civilian useand to coverEgypt's needsforenergyin light of the increasing population. Dr. SHAKERsaidthat the Egyptian government supports the private sector through a specialfund for financingsustainable energy. Egypt adopteda planthataims to reach 20% of theenergy production through renewable energyby2027.

In his speech, H.E. Dr. OmarKATTANEH, Minister of Energy, Palestine, mentioned that the Palestinians use solar energy technologiesfor domestic purposesinthe absence ofsubsidies for theelectricity costs inside Palestine. He pointed outthat thepsychological aspect made the Palestiniansinthe pastskeptical of usingsolar poweras an alternative, but the majority reliesheavily onthis type ofenergy today.

H.E. Dr.Mervat TALLAWI, Chairperson of the National Council for Women in Egypt spoke about the developmentworkin the field ofrenewable energyin rural areasand the efforts toreduce the costs of this energy. She also noted thatthe scarcity ofenergy has a direct negative impact onwomen, who are responsible forsecuringthe daily needsof their homes, such as cooking and cleaning.

H.E. Ambassador Navdeeb SURI presented theprojects undertaken byIndiain the field ofalternative energy production. He said that the national solar program"Jawahar lal Nehru" which was launchedin 2010, aims toprovide20thousandmegawatts ofsolar energyby 2022. Theprogram also aimsto make India one ofthe leading countriesin the field ofsolar energythroughthe establishment ofmutually beneficialpartnership projectswith other countries.

In turn,Eng. Ahmed EL SEWEDY, President and CEO of Elsewedy Electric said that the reliance of Arab governments on international companiesforthe production ofrenewable energyadversely affectssmall and medium enterprises. He notedthatthere is a needto amend theregulations in this important areaand to provide more access to this field for the private sector. He pointed outthat Egyptis one of thecountries dealingwith professionalismin this field.

The Forum, which lasted for two days, discussed the issue of strengtheningthe role ofsmall and medium enterprisesin the fields ofrenewable energyand energy efficiency. It was divided in five working sessions: The ministerialroundtable which offeredinsightson the mechanisms oflong-termtransformation ofthe energyon thenational level, followed by three sessionson the role ofsmall and medium enterprisesin the development and use ofrenewable energy, energy efficiency including challenges and solutions, basedonthelessons learnedand the enabling environment. The last session was a panel discussion about major renewable energy projectsversus small capacity renewable energy projects.On the third day, the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency organized in collaborationwith the United NationsIndustrial Development Organization some sessionsforprofessionalsin the field ofrenewable energy.

On thesidelines of the forum,H.E. Eng. Jamila MATAR, Director of the Energy Department in the League of Arab States, presented the Memorial Shield of the Forumto Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA in recognition for his participation in this important event.



22 May 2014 |  A ACC celebrating its “25th Anniversary” with 7th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum & Exhibition and Gala Dinner



On occasion of its 25th Anniversary as the main reference institution for economic, cultural and scientific cooperation between Austria and the Arab countries, the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) organised the 7th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum & Exhibition and a prestigious Gala Dinner under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Heinz FISCHER, the Austrian Federal President, on 22 May 2014 in the Festival Hall of the Vienna City Hall.






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Left-to-right: Dipl.-Ing. Mouddar KHOUJA, Secretary General AACC -- Kommerzialrat Nabil KUZBARI, Vice-President AACC -- H.E. Dr. Wolfgang BRANDSTETTER, Austrian Minister of Justice -- Dr. Herbert STEPIC, Honorary President AACC -- H.E. Moustafa Osman ISMAIL, Investment Minister of Sudan -- H.E. Mag. Renate BRAUNER, Vice-Mayor and Vice-Governor of Vienna -- H.E. Adnan KASSAR, Honorary President of the General Union of Arab Chambers -- H.E. Karlheinz KOPF, Second President of the Austrian National Council -- Dr. Richard SCHENZ, President AACC -- H.E. Suleiman AL-HERBISH, Director General Opec Fund for International Development (OFID)






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The Forum was festively opened by H.E. Dr. Richard SCHENZ, President of the AACC, in the presence of H.E.




KommR. Nabil KUZBARI, the AACC’s Founder and its Vice-President. The Opening Session was honoured by the participation of numerous high-ranking personalities and speakers from both, Austria and the Arab region, beginning with H.E. Dr. Wolfgang BRANDSTETTER, Austrian Minister of Justice, H.E. Mag. Renate BRAUNER, Vice-Mayor and Vice-Governor of Vienna, H.E. Minister Adnan KASSAR, Honorary President of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture for Arab Countries (GUCCIAAC), H.E. Karlheinz KOPF, Second President of the Austrian National Council, H.E. Abdullah AL‑MOGBEL, Mayor of Riyadh of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Dr. Mustafa Osman ISMAIL, Minister for Investment of the Republic of the Sudan, H.E. Salahaldin ABDALSHAFI, Ambassador of the Mission of Palestine in Vienna and President of the Arab Ambassador Council, and H.E. Suleiman AL-HERBISH, Director General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).








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 Left picture: H.E. Abdullah AL-MOGBEL, Mayor of Riyadh (second left) exchanging greetings with H.E. Karlheinz KOPF, Second President of the Austrian National Council // Right picture: H.E. Minister BRANDSTETTER (standing right next to camera) with AACC Vice-President Kommerzialrat Nabil KUZBARI (standing left) during the Opening








25Anniv 5The Forum & Exhibition was attended by a numerous international audience of some 800 visitors and guests, among them Their Excellences the Arab ambassadors from Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Yemen and the League of Arab States to Austria were also among the VIP attendees, together with Austrian ambassadors to Arab countries, representatives of the international diplomatic corps, chairmen, secretaries general and representatives of Arab chambers and joint Arab-foreign chambers of commerce from Saudi-Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordan, Germany, the United States, Greece, Belgium and Italy, members of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce, companies, businessmen and the interested public.






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ExhibitorsCover   Festschrift Coverpic  



2 April 2014 | Forum on investment opportunities in the GCC countries



On 2 April 2014 the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) organised the Forum “Arabian Gulf – Yes, but how?” in cooperation with the International Forum for Business Communication (IFWK) and the Vienna Business Agency.


During a very active discussion in the Expat Centre of the Vienna Business Agency, Eng. Mouddar Khouja, the AACC’s Secretary General, emphasised the huge project volume in the GCC countries, especially in the infrastructure, energy and water sectors and advised Austrian companies to establish partnerships to increase their competitiveness for big projects in the region. Considering Europe’s and in particular Austria’s vital interest to diversify its energy resources, a further increase of the trade relations between Austria and the Gulf states could help to reach this goal, i.e. by importing liquid gas from the GCC countries.




PanelUAE Foto1




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29 March 2014 | AACC leading delegation to Investment Forum in Erbil


On 29 March 2014 the President of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC), Dr. Richard SCHENZ, and the Secretary General, Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA, had the honour to lead an Austrian delegation to the ForumInvest in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region”.

Under the Auspices of H.E. Mr. Massoud BARZANI, President of the Kurdistan Region, and in cooperation with the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries (GUCCIAAC) and the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce the forum took place in Erbil, Iraq, and was visited by more than 750 visitors.


With its numerous participants the AACC delegation was the second biggest to attend the investment forum. The delegates had several meetings with important decision makers amongst others also with H.E. Dr. Rosh Nuri SHAWAYS, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq. In an excellent German H.E. Dr. SHAWAYS discussed the Iraqi-Austrian relations with the AACC delegation. He talked about his stays in German-speaking regions and his close links to many Austrian politicians and explained that he hoped for intensifying economic relations in future times. Here he emphasised the essential role of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce.



From left to right: Mr. Scheibner, H.E. Dr. Shaways, Dr. Schenz and Eng. Khouja


H.E. Sheikh Ismail BARZANJI, one of the most influential business men, also met with the AACC delegation and discussed possible cooperation in the infrastructure and construction sectors.


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25 March 2014 | AACC Secretary General presents economic key figures about the
Austrian Federal States to the Council of Arab Ambassadors to Austria



On 25 March 2014 the Secretary General of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA was invited to present an overview of the Austrian economy and the economic key figures of the 9 Austrian federal states to the Council of Arab Ambassadors to Austria.


As indicated by Eng. KHOUJA, the Austrian GNP reached 361 billion USD in 2013, representing an increase of 4 billion USD compared to 2012. The GNP per capita was about 42.600 USD in 2013, occupying rank 21 internationally before Germany and Great Britain and after Luxemburg, Norway and Switzerland. Austria’s national debt was 75.7% of the GNP in 2013, 3.7% more than 2012.



 Liga1 Liga2



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10 February 2014 | Secretary General meets with CEO of STRABAG


On Monday, 10 February 2014, Dipl. Ing. Mouddar KHOUJA, Secretary General of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC), had the pleasure to meet with Dr Thomas BIRTEL, CEO of the Austrian construction company STRABAG SE, one of the biggest and leading construction companies in Europe.


The aim of the meeting was to discuss possible cooperation between STRABAG and the AACC, not only in Austria but particularly in the Arab countries. Dr Birtel outlined the company’s great interest in intensifying cooperation between STRABAG and the Arab countries. He explained that apart from the Eastern and South-East Europe region where the company is already active, also the Arab Gulf States had great potential for implementing projects. The AACC’s Secretary General assured the chamber’s entire commitment and promised to provide STRABAG with its excellent network to facilitate the company’s activities, not only in Austria but in particular in the Arab region.



Dipl. Ing. Khouja and Dr Birtel at STRABAG’s premises


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2-6 February 2014 | Chairman of Saudi Austrian Business Council visits Vienna



From 2 to 6 February 2014, a high-ranking Saudi delegation, headed by H.E. Ambassador Mr. Abdul-Aziz ARRUKBAN, esteemed member of the Board of Directors of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and Chairman of the Saudi Austrian Business Council, came to Vienna on occasion of several meetings held by the Saudi Austrian Business Council. The delegation included: Mr Mohammed Bin Faisal AL-SAGER, Mr Ibrahim Abdullah AL-HEDAITHY, Eng. Abdul-Rahman AL NAFEA, Mr Abdullah Fahad AL-AJLAN, Eng. Sami AL-ANQARI, Eng. Mansour AL-MOBTY, accompanied by Dipl. Ing. Karl TOBLER General Manager of ILF-Tecon in Saudi Arabia.



H.E. Amb. ARRUKBAN (4th from right) during the Round Table Session



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22 January 2014 | The Austrian Company STRABAG hosts Arab Diplomats


On Wednesday, January 22, 2014, the Austrian construction company Strabag AG, hosted a group of members of the Arab diplomatic corps in its main headquarters in Vienna to introduce the company, which is one of the largest construction companies in Europe, and its contributions and strategic projects in the Arab region. This meeting was held upon the initiative and coordiation of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC).



Members of the Arab diplomatic corps in a commemorative snapshot with the management of Strabag


The Arab guests were: H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mikhail WEHBE, H.E. Ambassador Dr. Yousif EL KORDOFANI (Sudan), Counsellor Mohammad MADANI (Saudi Arabia), Minister pp. Mr. Mohamed ALARWY (Yemen), Counsellor Hazem SHABAT (Palestine), Counsellor Labib Al-Khudiry (Iraq), Commercial Counsellor Mr. Mohamed DOWEIDAR (Egypt), Counsellor Wissem MOATEMRI (Tunisia), Counsellor Mahmood AL HASNI (Oman), Attaché Ms. Imen CHERBAL (Algeria) and Mr. Abdulmalek DEBABESH, Second Secretary at the Mission of the League of Arab States in Vienna.


The hosts were the board members of Strabag AG Eng. Theodor KLAIS and Mr. Franz URBAN, in addition to Eng. Günter KÖBER, Mr. Heinz SUMPER, Eng. Walter BURGER and Eng. Omar AL-RAWI.


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9 January 2014 |The Director General of UNIDO receives AACC delegates



On Thursday, January 9th, 2014 the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Mr. LI Yong, received in the organization's headquarters in Vienna, the President of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC), Senator Dr. Richard SCHENZ, and its Secretary General, Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA to find ways to strengthen and consolidate the relations between UNIDO and the AACC. They discussed the possibility of cooperation in the fight of unemployment in the Arab world, the support of entrepreneurship, education, development, vocational training, the preservation of the environment, and the fields of energy and renewable energy.


UNIDO 2014


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