AACC Events & Activities 2017

AACC at the 2nd Croatian-Arab Economic Forum in Rijeka, Croatia



2017 croatia


On December 21, 2017, the SG of the AACC was invited as an expert speaker at the 2nd Croatian-Arab Economic Forum organised by the Croatian Arab Friendship Association in Rijeka, Croatia.




AACC at the 6th Arab-Hellenic Economic Forum, Greece






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From 29-30 November 2017, the Secretary General of the AACC actively participated in the 6th Arab-Hellenic Economic Forum in Athens, Greece, where he was speaker and chair of a panel.









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9th  Arab-Austrian Economic Forum & Exhibition




On Monday the 27th of November 2017 the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) successfully organised the 9th edition of its periodic “Arab-Austrian Economic Forum & Exhibition”. This year, the AACC was pleased to welcome the Vienna Business Agency as its official partner for the events that were held at the prestigious Festival Hall of the Vienna City Hall, the headquarters of the Municipality of Vienna.


The Forum & Exhibition was honoured by the participation of a high number of prominent officials, personalities, representatives, speakers and delegates from both, Austria and the Arab countries. At the Opening Ceremony and during the day, the event hosted in total almost 500 interested visitors from Austria and the Arab countries.


At the Opening Ceremony, the president of the AACC H.E. Dr. Richard SCHENZ festively opened the Forum in the presence of H.E. Dr. Heinz FISCHER, former Federal President of the Republic of Austria and the founding father of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce, H.E. Kommerzialrat Nabil R. KUZBARI.



This year’s Opening Ceremony was moderated by Ms. Sabine OHLER, Head of International Business at Vienna Business Agency, and witnessed again the participation of the following high-ranking personalities and official from both, Austria and the Arab region: H.E. Dr. Ahmad MAITEEQ, Vice-President of the Government of National Accordance, Libya; and H.E. Minister Prof. Dr. Wolfgang BRANDSTETTER, Vice-Chancellor & Minister of Justice of the Republic of Austria.  As a special privilege, H.E. Senator Nael AL KABARITI, the President of the Union of Arab Chambers was personally participating in this year’s Forum. The Opening Ceremony was also honoured by welcome speeches from H.E. Dr. Auday KHAIRALLA, President of the Arab Ambassadors’ Council, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to Austria; and H.E. Eng. Omar AL-RAWI, Member of the Viennese Parliament & Representative of City of Vienna. The Secretary General of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce, Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA, also gave a short welcome note to the distinguished guests.


After the Opening Ceremony, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the President of the AACC Senator H.E. Dr. Richard SCHENZ and H.E. Mohammed RAIED, the President of the General Libyan Union of Chambers, to establish an “Austrian-Libyan Businessmen Forum” in order to strengthen the relations and to provide the framework for future cooperation in the fields of mutual interest.



Among the other high-level guests and VIP attendees at the Forum were H.E. Dr. Mohammed AL‑MAITAMI, Minister for Industry and Trade of the Republic of Yemen; the chairmen and senior representatives from chambers of commerce from Libya, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Syria, together with official delegates from Iraq, and businessmen from Libya and Saudi-Arabia. Present were also Their Excellences ambassadors and representatives from Arab embassies, from the mission of the League of Arab States, the mission of the GCC to Austria and the international diplomatic corps.


At Session I of the Forum, the expert speakers presented their inputs on topics of “Energy and Financing”. The Session was chaired by H.E. Herbert SCHEIBNER, Former Minister of Defense of the Republic of Austria, who introduced the following panelists: Dr. Emhamed DARWISH, Advisor to H.E. Maiteeq for Economic Affairs, Libya; H.E. Mohamed Abdulkarim RAIED, President General Union of Libyan Chambers; Ms. Maria MITTERMAIR, Senior Vice-President International & Governmental Relations, OMV; Mr. Tariq ALNASSAR, Acting Assistant Director General, Private Sector and Trade Finance Operations Department, OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID); and H.E. Dhia Jaafar HUJAAM, Advisor to the Minister of Oil, Iraq.



Infrastructure – Food & Agriculture – Water” were the main topics of Session II of the Forum. As a very special VIP guest, the Minister for Industry of the Republic of the Sudan H.E. Dr. Musa Mohamed Krama HAMID honoured the session with a special appearance and speech coming straight after a meeting from UNIDO to the Forum. The session was chaired by Mr. Mohamed BEN YOUSIF, Managing Director, Euro-Arab Business Council for SME, who gave also a short introduction to his project. The other high-level speakers of this session were Dr. Mustafa AL-HITI, Head of the Reconstruction Fund for Areas Affected by Terroristic Operations; Dr. Zuhair Ali MAHMOUD, Advisor to H.E. Maiteeq for Development, Libya; Em.O.Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Dr.h.c.mult. Dr. Heinz BRANDL, President Austrian Society of Engineers and Architects and Mr. Mahmut GEDEK, CEO VATECH Wabag.



Session III, chaired by Mr. Sabine OHLER, focused on topics of “New Technologies”. This session also had the privilege to introduce a minister, H.E. Mr. Hussein Al Haj HASSAN, Minister of Industry, Lebanon, among its high-level speakers. The other panelists were Dr. Walter TESCH, Head of International Downstream Business, ILF Consulting Engineers Austria GmbH; Ms. Sally MAHFOUZ, Planning & Development Manager, Global Entrepreneurs, Saudi Arabia; Mr. Julian EL- JAAFARI, EPLAN Software & Service GmbH; Mr. Nandor RAJšLI, Leda doo Korcula.


The Exhibition Area parallel to the Forum was very well visited and introduced the Arab embassies of Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Sudan and Yemen. It also presented displays from the following companies: Borealis; Börseplatz; Domisol; EPLAN Software & Service GmbH; Herdin Media Design & Marketing; ILF Consulting Engineers Austria GmbH; Intrenex (International Renewable Energy Exchange); Leda Shipyard; N.A.B. Fellinger AG; Noble Soap Co.; OMV; Royal Jordanian; TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology); VATECH WABAG GmbH; Vienna Business Agency; and WKO Aussenwirtschaft Austria. Among the esteemed sponsors without special display were Vimpex HandelsgmbH; Rauch; and Red Bull.



Right after the Closing of the Forum & Exhibition, the AACC invited interested Austrian companies for a special B2B-Meeting with business delegates from Saudi Arabia and Libya. This initiative was very well received by company representatives, and offered personal introduction and networking with potential future business partners.


As a special media feature, the 9th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum & Exhibition was recorded live and published on air with a live-streaming video link on the AACC’s facebook sites, offering all interested audience a participation in the event even while not being present in person.



Click here to view the PHOTO GALLERY !



Watch the Online Video-Stream of the Forum:


Image Video stream forum


The Video-Stream is also available on our Facebook Sites
(www.facebook.com/AACC.Arab and www.facebook.com/AACC.Eng )




Coll Sponsoren Nov24 final







9 November 2017: Austria / Iraq


The SG, together with Em.O.Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Dr.h.c.mult. Heinz BRANDL paid a visit to H.E. Ambassador Dr. Auday KHAIRALLA to discuss scientific and technical cooperation between Austria and Iraq.


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2 November 2017: Austria / Arab League



Arab President KR Nabil KUZBARI and the SG of the AACC presented to the Arab Ambassadors’ Council a report on the Austrian Economy and invited Their Excellencies to the 9th Arab- Austrian Economic Forum.


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16 - 19 October 2017: Libya



Upon invitation of H.E. Mr. Mohammed RAIED, President of the General Union of Libyan Chambers, the SG visited Libya and met with the Libyan Vice-President; HE. Mohamed SIALA; Minister for Foreign affairs; HE. Nasir SAGHLAN; Minister of Economy; the General Union and with 25 Libyan Businessmen.


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26-28 September 2017: Arab African Forum in Jordan



The AACC coordinated a delegation to attend the Arab African Forum in Jordan. The AACC delegation was headed by AACC’s Arab President KR Nabil Kuzbari; and consisted of Former Minister Mr. Herbert Scheibner, representatives of AACC member companies and SG Khouja.


2017 jordan forum



20 September 2017: Austria / GCC Meeting



Upon invitation by HE. Dr. Mohammed AL GHEILANI, Head of the GCC Mission to Austria, the SG was invited for an exclusive meeting and presentation for H.E. Min. pp. Rihan FAYEZ, the Head of the Economic Affairs Sector of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). HE FAYEZ was particularly interested in a close cooperation to reach companies and the private sector. He said that he would report about the meeting and the discussed topics to the Secretary General of the GCC in Saudi Arabia.


2017 gcc meeting





22 August 2017: Austria / KSA



The SG of the AACC paid a courtesy visit to HE. Ambassador Dr. Khaled AL-JINDAN, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Austria and discussed the activities of the AACC and mutual cooperation in the economic sector.


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3 – 7 August 2017: Austria / Dubai - UAE




Mr. Dawood AL SHIZAWI, President of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) visited the SG of the AACC and discussed with him various fields of cooperation between the AACC and the AIM and agreed to receive a delegation from Dubai – Municipality this year and another UAE delegation next year. Mr. AL SHIZAWI briefed the SG on the new educational initiative of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid AL MAKTOOM, offering pupils education by apprenticeship.

The SG referred to the Austrian Dual Educational Training System and offered to coordinate a meeting with the Austrian WIFI and Dubai Municipality.


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03 July - 07 July 2017 Training Seminar for Senior Representatives of Arab Chambers of Commerce


The Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce organizes since a long time, every two years a training seminar for senior representatives of Arab chambers. This year's training was held between 3rd and 7th of July 2017 with participants from Syria, the UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and Lebanon.

On July 3rd the program started at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber as THE business association in Austria. All companies in Austria are automatically members of the Economic Chamber.


Therefore the chamber represents the interests of Austrian companies in all sectors: industry, mining, craft and trades, banking and insurance, information and communication, transport, broadcasting, tourism and leisure.


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A representative of the Economic Policy Department made a presentation about the Austrian economy, Austria within the EU and strategic conditions of the Austrian economy like a small domestic market and the importance of Germany and the EU as importers of Austrian goods.

He also talked about the Austrian social partnership. This is a cooperation of the main players in business and politics, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and Agricultural Chamber as representatives of the employers on one side, the Chamber of Labor and the Unions as representatives of the employees on the other side.

This cooperation was established after World War II in order to prevent major disagreements among the involved parties. There is a collective wage bargaining on yearly basis for nationwide contracts. They also involve in many aspects of business and business location development and it has a formal right to be heard on regional, national and even European level in matters like tax legislation, schooling and vocational training, energy, research and innovation, labor law, social legislation, social security system, government policies and administration.

The method to find a mutual agreement is in general:

-          Establishing facts

-          Seeking common interpretation of the facts

-          Identifying common goals

-          Reaching an agreement on steps necessary to reach them

-          Selling them together to politics and to own members

-          Supporting the government in implementation

These social partners spend time in consensus building and get acceptance to gain time in implementation. This social partnerships prevents Austria from having strikes. The average strike duration during the last years was just several seconds.


 There were 2 representatives from the department for Austrian trade, Advantage Austria, as well.
One gave a speech about start-ups, introducing the main players and also the well-established companies that are global players.
The other speech gave an overview about Austria´s export and its importance, the main importing countries, trade volume, main products etc.
It also introduced the Austrian Internationalization Agency that aims to
- Encourage international activities by identifying business opportunities abroad.
- Support cross-border commercial activities.
- Position Austria globally as an attractive business location and a reliable business partner.
The Vienna International Arbitral Center (VIAC), another department at the Federal Economic Chamber, completed the session in the morning.
Austria is an arbitration-friendly forum and as neutral country a neutral place with a well-developed modern and arbitration-friendly legal system
Vienna is the preferred venue because it is among the top 7 venues for international arbitration worldwide, is a highly regarded meeting point for business and public services and lies in the heart of Europe, offers excellent flight connections to all parts of the world and is the turn-table for CEE.


In the afternoon the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry gave a brief introduction about itself and its activities.
It is one of the provincial chambers and the legal representative of the Viennese business community with 136.000 members and a budget of 120 million Euros.
VCCI also offers a comprehensive program of vocational and practice-oriented institutions and education. One third of annual budget and one quarter of staff are spent on education.
VCCI is one of Austria's largest educators. Each year more than 85.000 people attend its educational programs.


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The next stop was at the waste incineration plant in Vienna where the Vienna Business Agency held a speech before the tour through the plant began.
The VBA explained the advantages of opening a business in Vienna including:
- City with the best quality of life worldwide
- Legal, political, social and economic stability
- International, culturally diverse, EU and CEE access
- World class educational institutions and universities
- experienced expat support team


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On the 4th July the delegation visited the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) where they were informed about OFID´s aim to help low income countries in pursuit of sustainable social and economic advancement by financing development projects through four main windows: Public Sector, Private Sector, Trade Finance and Grants.


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The Private Sector Operations objective is to foster sustainable economic growth in low a middle income countries by financing and investing into the private sector which leads to socioeconomic development, empowering people to employ their skills and improving their quality of life.
Over the last 40 years, OFID has approved over 3.673 operations, totaling US$ 20.56 BN, across a range of sectors.
OFID has granted loans to financial institutions, primarily for on-landing to micro, small and medium enterprises and for international trade financing.
Furthermore OFID operates in 134 low and middle income countries, which include 53 in Africa, 43 in Asia, 31 in Latin America and 7 in Europe.
After the visit to OFID the participants visited the Austrian Parliament, where they were met by Dr. Reinhold Lopatka, Chairman of the Parliamentary Group of the Austrian People´s Party and Former State Secretary for European and International Affairs and Mr. Asdin El Habbassi , member of the parliament from Salzburg.
After the meeting, the participants made a tour inside the Parliament and learned about the history of the building.


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The afternoon was spent at the UNIDO. The mission of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in developing countries and economies in transition.

The relevance of ISID as an integrated approach to all three pillars of sustainable development is recognized by the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will frame United Nations and country efforts towards sustainable development in the next fifteen years. UNIDO’s mandate is fully recognized in SDG-9, which calls to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The relevance of ISID, however, applies in greater or lesser extent to all SDGs.


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On July 5th the media training took place in the premises of the Austrian National Broadcasting Company ORF. It was held by an Austrian media expert and taught the participants about professional handling of the media.


On July 6th there was a trip to the province of Salzburg to visit the provincial government and the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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The Institute for Economic Promotion of the Economic Chamber (WIFI) is the market leader in training courses with
- 350,000 customers across Austria
- 32,000 courses and programs every year
- 12,000 top trainers from the business sphere
- One main WIFI in each province and the WIFI Austria as "coordination-point" within the WIFI-Network and over 80 branches in Austria

It introduced its "talent check" – program. This program is offered to all schools in Salzburg for students at the age of 13 and their parents. It checks the interests and skills of the students by conducting several tests like a psychological and IQ test as well as one testing the manual skills. So the young people have the chance to find out about a suitable career at an early stage and can take decisions with their parents accordingly.


The last day, July 6th, was spent at one of Austria´s leading and worldwide operating companies, Fronius.
As the global technology leader, at Fronius concentrates its skills in three Business Units: Perfect Charging, Perfect Welding and Solar Energy. These three Business Units unite around a single passion: delivering innovation after innovation to shift the limits of what's possible. Whether in welding technology, photovoltaics or battery charging technology – each one of the Business Units stands for ground-breaking developments that astound users the world over through their efficiency and unbeatable quality. Their products and solutions are regularly awarded numerous prizes on both a national and international level.


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Read full report in Arabic



26 June 2017 Exporter´s Day


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With some 3000 visitors, 35 exhibitors and all Austrian economic delegates present, this year's Exporttag was an important expert platform for informational exchange, presentation and consultation with companies, enterprises and the public.


Like the years before, the AACC's participation as an exhibitor attracted a high number of interested companies and visitors, who approached the AACC's stand for consultations, cooperation inquiries, information, network service and many other matters.





08 June 2017 OPEC Visit






AACC was asked by Lufthansa Cargo AG to organise a visit for their managers and partners. During their visit in Vienna they had the chance to see the premises of OPEC and get several presentations about OPEC such as:

• Presentation "Introduction to OPEC Secretariat
• Film about OPEC" Instrument of Change"
• Presentation "Oil Market Short-term Outlook"


These were followed by a Q/A-session and a tour to the main conference room.
It was a very informative and interesting morning which was highly appreciated by Lufthansa Cargo AG.




















After a rapid downfall in the year 2009 the share of the aviation sector in the oil demand has constantly increased up to 6.3% where the jet fuel represents 99% of the consumption.





11-12 May 2017 Energy Forum Vienna

UNIDO organized the Vienna Energy Forum together with several partners in the Imperial Palace 11-12 May 2017. Several high-caliber Ministers from various countries such as Austria, Morocco, India et.al. came to visit the forum. 


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 The main topic was the role of energy with the Agenda 2030 for sustainable energy with special focus on poverty, food security, land, water and health.
Besides the official councils from the public sector there were also business representatives invited to discuss cooperation among private-public partnerships and the financing of energy projects especially the ones about renewable energy.
OFID, Worldbank, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank Aktiengesellschaft (OeKB) and business-delegates like CGM President Mrs. Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun presented the financing of innovative business models, making clean energy affordable and new innovative technologies.


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An outstanding speech was given by H.E. Piyush Goyal, Indian Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines. In this presentation he numbered the costs for kWh of solar energy with 4 cents and for wind-energy with 5 cents.


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The fifth edition of the Vienna Energy Forum brought together over 1,650 participants from 128 countries. It was co-organized by UNIDO, IIASA, the Austrian Government, and SEforALL.


11 May 2017 Visit of RCREEE to AACC


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Dr. Ahmed Badr, Executive Director of the Arab Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) and Ashraf Kraidy, Planning Director of RCREEE visited AACC and discussed cooperation in the field of training in renewable energy where Austria holds an outstanding position worldwide and has excellent experts in this area.
Both institutions agreed to define a common curriculum that RCREEE will present to the public and private sector in the Arab countries and will promote training units or the discussed topic.
RCREEE visited OFID in order to discuss – among other topics – the financing of these training units.




11 May 2017 H. E. Aziz Rabbah, Minister of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development, Morocco visits AACC

H.E. Aziz Rabbah visited the AACC and met with Secretary General Eng. Mouddar Khouja. Secretary General Khouja presented the Austrian economy and possible cooperation fields between Austria and Morocco and suggested to hold a big Austro-Moroccan Economic Forum in the 3rd quarter of 2017. The guest would be Moroccan ministers and business representatives to discuss the potential of cooperation in the fields of renewable energy, water treatment, construction, infrastructure, water, transport and industrialization.


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H.E. Rabbah indicated also Morocco´s interest for partnership in the field of education and apprenticeship. He also called Morocco a hub to African countries and invited SG Khouja to Morocco to discuss further steps.




15-22 March 2017: Visit of Secretary General in Morocco

From 15-22 March Secretary General Eng. Mouddar Khouja paid a visit to Morocco to attend the Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla and meet with high-ranking representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco afterwards.

On 20 March Secretary General met with Dr. Nazha Al-Wafi, the second President of the Moroccan Parliament.



He held a presentation about AACC as well as about the economic situation in Austria. He emphasized on the trade-volume between Morocco and Austria.
Secretary General also invited Dr. Nazha Al-Wafi to the 9th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum to be held in Vienna in October with the intention to have Morocco as special guest-country among others.
Dr. Nazha also talked about the economic situation in Morocco and expressed her high interest in a closer cooperation with Austria in the parliamentarian field.


The quality of the buildings themselves is one of the highest ones in Europe, too.
The City of Vienna cooperates with Vienna Holding and TINA in order to improve the international collaboration in this area.

An invitation to the upcoming forum was extended to Minister Nabil Benabdallah. He stressed that during this time there will be major negotiations to establish the new government. His party – the Party of Progress and Socialism – will play a major role in these negotiations .
He is willing to support the event and would like to take part in it as a minister of the new government under Prime Minister
 Saad Eddine El Othmani.

Another important meeting was the one with Mr. Mohamed Yatim, Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs and National Defense and Islamic Affairs and MREs.




Secretary General talked about the role of AACC to strengthen the relations between Austria and the Arab world. Morocco is one of the main trade- partners apart from oil- and gas-exporting countries.
There are chances for cooperation in the fields of energy, water, agriculture, health care – mainly hospitals and pharmaceutical industry -, e-government, e-passports, machine industry and many more.
Mr. Yatim expressed his interest in deepening the relations between Austria and Morocco and possible cooperation in the above mentioned fields.
Mr. Yatim is one of the main negotiators for the upcoming government and will most probably hold a ministry in the near future.

Secretary General Khouja also met several MP including Jamal Benchekroun Krimi, who explained the parliamentarian Situation and talked about the visit of other Arab MP that took place at the same time.




Before meeting with the representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco Secretary General had attended the Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla for the second time.  During this forum the entry of Morocco to the "Union of African States" was declared.




Eng. Mouddar Khouja, SG of AACC; Eva Anderova, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Zambia to the Czech Republic; Hamane Barouk, Journalist; Usama M. Al-Kendi, Vice-Chairman ICC Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia; Samira...; Anis H. Bajrektarevic, Head of Mission Ifimes



The main topics of the forum were:

  • Agriculture & Food Security in Africa
  • The Integration of Women in The Political and Economic Framework
  • Environment : Debriefing of The Cop 22 Conference in Marrakech, November 2016
  • Small Islands Developing States
  • The Migration Phenomena Towards Europe
  • Opening Emerging Societies to The Young Generations
  • Energy Production and Supply
  • Improving Public Health Around The World
  • Political and Institutional Communications in Africa



13 March 2017: Visit of the Moroccan Ambassador H.E. Lotfi Boushara




On March 13th the Moroccan Ambassador H.E. Lotfi Boushara paid a visit to AACC to talk about further cooperation with Secretary General Eng. Mouddar Khouja. They focused especially on the possibility to host Morocco as a special guest, among other countries, within the next 9. Arab-Austrian Economic Forum to be held in October 2017.

Furthermore they discussed the meetings the Secretary General would have with potential partners during his visit in Morocco the same week.




30 January 2017: Networking 2




AACC invited the company Fonius Ind. and Industrius d.o.o. for a meeting with a Iraqi businessmen and discuseed mutual cooperation and presentation of project in the Arab region. The parties agreed to strengthen their relationshsip in order to build afriutful cooperation to enlarge market activities in the Arab region.




27 January 2017: Networking 1





AACC hosted a meeting with the companies ILF and SCAN, discussing potential future market entry in the oil and gas industry in Libyia. Libyan representative, Chairman of Board of the Libyan bank Senwan for Engin. & Real Estate Consultancy , presented the current situation in Libyia, outlining the financial challenges of the country and the need of modernatisation for some plants of the oil and gas sector. The participants agreed on coordination further meetings with Libyan experts in order to set up further steps for a cooperation.

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