E-Newsletter 7/2011, 29 December 2011 | Print |


AACC Activities & Reports

Country News

Member's News بالعربية

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10-13 December 2011:

Exploratory Business Trip to Doha, Qatar on the Occasion of the Soft Opening of the
Austrian Embassy and Trade Department

From left: H.E. Dr. Khalid Al-Attiyah, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Qatar – H.E. Mr. Abdullah Falah Al-Dosari, Ambassador of Qatar in Geneve – H.E. Mr. Ali Khalfan Al-Mansouri, Representative of Qatar in Austria – Dr. Wolfgang Waldner, Austrian State Secretary for European and International Affairs – H.E. Dr. Heinz Fischer, Austrian Federal President

In joint cooperation with the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) and the Society for Austro-Arab Relations (GÖAB), the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) had the honour to lead an Austrian trade delegation to Qatar from December 10th to December 13th 2011. On the occasion of the festive soft opening of the Austrian Embassy and the Trade Department in Qatar’s capital Doha and in the presence of a great number of both, official and business representatives from Austria and Qatar, the Austrian Foreign Ministry appointed an Austrian Ambassador and a Chargé d’Affaires to the State of Qatar.

On December 12th 2011, Dr. Heinz FISCHER, Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Dr. Wolfgang WALDNER, State Secretary of the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, and H.E. Dr. Khalid bin Mohamed AL-ATTIYAH, Qatar's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, inaugurated the Austrian Embassy and the Trade Department in the Tornado Tower in Doha. Among the high ranking attendants were also Mag. Andreas SCHIEDER, State Secretary of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Richard SCHENZ, President of the AACC, Vice-President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, and Councillor Nabil KUZBARI, Vice-President of the AACC and H.E. Ambassador Ali Khalfan AL-MANSOURI, Representative of the State of Qatar in Austria.

The opening speeches referred to the excellent relationship and intense cooperation between Austria and Qatar with a clear commitment to even intensify the established relationships in all respects. In his speech, H.E. Dr. Khalid bin Mohamed AL-ATTIYAH, expressed his extensive gratitude to Councillor Nabil KUZBARI for his strenuous efforts concerning the establishment of the Embassy and its soft opening. More than 70 participants from the industry sector and politics and diplomatic representatives were invited to take part in this exclusive event, among them Dr. Gerhard ROISS, Director General of OMV, and MMag. Andrea RAFFASEDER, Member of the Executive Board of VAMED Group, and many others.

Behind from left: Mag. Andreas Schieder, Austrian State Secretary for Finance – H.E. Sheikh Khalifa Al Thani, President of Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry – H.E. Dr. Heinz Fischer, Austrian Federal President – Senator Dr. Richard Schenz, President of AACC – Mag. Gerd Bommer, Regional Manager Außenwirtschaft Österreich // Others: Qatari and Austrian representatives to sign a mobility cooperation agreement

Following the soft opening as another highlight on the programme’s agenda, the Qatar Austria Business Forum was held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Doha with opening speeches and key remarks by Dr. Heinz FISCHER, Mag. Andreas SCHIEDER, Dr. Richard SCHENZ, as well as Dr. Walter KOREN, Head of the “Außenwirtschaft Österreich” and H.E. Sheikh Khalifa AL THANI, the President of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Dipl.-Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA, the Secretary General of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce, seized the favourable opportunity to present the members of the AACC trade delegation to the attending stakeholders and entrepreneurs. At the end of the Forum, the Austrian and Qatari delegation members were invited to take part in the networking event.

One day before the opening and the Forum, on December 11th 2011, a part of the Austrian trade delegation paid a visit to H.E. Sheikh Abdulrahman Bin Khalifa AL THANI, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning of the State of Qatar, in his office. The AACC took this unique opportunity to present Austria in general and Vienna in particular as a global leading reference and standard in terms of life quality by mentioning criteria of urban development and construction, as well as public transportation, among many others.

From left: Senator Dr. Richard Schenz, President Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce – H.E. Sheikh Abdulrahman Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatari Minister of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning – Eng. Mouddar Khouja, Secretary General of AACC – Mr. Fritz Edlinger, Secretary General of Society of Austro Arab Relations – Mag. Andreas Schieder, Austrian State Secretary of Finance

Other meetings during the high-level programme included visits to the Qatar Science and Technology Park, to ASHGHAL – Public Works Authority and the Qatar Railways Development Corporation.

Headed by State Secretary Mag. Andreas SCHIEDER and AACC President Dr. Richard SCHENZ, organised by the AACC in joint cooperation with Mr. Fritz EDLINGER, Secretary General of the Society of Austro-Arab Relations, Dr. Wolfgang PENZIAS, Austrian Commercial Counsellor in Abu Dhabi and Mag. Gerd BOMMER, Regional Manager and designated Austrian Commercial Counsellor in Doha (both representing the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber), and compiled of more than 65 delegates, this Exploratory Business Trip to Doha turned out to be the biggest trade delegation to an Arab country in Austria’s long history. The participating representatives of official institutions, companies and stakeholders from both the Austrian and the Qatari side lead the event in Qatar, one of the economically most important Arab Gulf countries, to a great success for both sides.

The exclusive delegation of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC), headed by its President Dr. Richard SCHENZ, Vice-President Councillor Nabil KUZBARI and coordinated by Secretary General Dipl.-Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA, was compiled of Former Minister of Defence Mr. Herbert SCHEIBNER; Prof. Reinhart GAUSTERER, Director General, and Mag. Andreas ZECHMANN, International Sales Manager of the Oesterreichische Staatsdruckerei; Dr. Max HUBER, CEO Dr. Max Huber GesmbH; Dipl.-Ing. Talik CHALABI, Managing Director, Chalabi Architekten&Partner ZT GmbH; Mag. Christoph ARTNER, CEO, and Mr. Andreas PAULY, Management Advisor, IASON GmbH; Dr. Harald RAFFAY, Consultant, Vimpex GmbH; and Mr. Fazlollah ROSTAMIAN, CEO Tecs GmbH.

From left: Captain Helmut Kaar – Dr. Ernst Huber, Head of President’s Office at WKO – Prof. Reinhart Gausterer, Director General Oesterreichische Staatsdruckerei – Senator Dr. Richard Schenz, President AACC – KommR Nabil Kuzbari, Vice-President AACC – Dipl.-Eng. Mouddar Khouja, Secretary General AACC – Former Minister Mr. Herbert Scheibner, Member of Austrian Parliament

18/19 October 2011:

5th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum & Exhibition

and Opening Dinner

From left: Counsellor Mr. Fawzy AL FARAH, Embassy of the State of Kuwait – H.E. Dr. Zuheir EL-WAZER, Ambassador of Palestine – Mr. Henry HAFEZ, CEO Hafez Group, Vice-President AACC – H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mikhail WEHBE, Head of Mission of Arab League in Austria – Senator Dr. Richard SCHENZ, President AACC – H.E. Dr. Surood NAJIB, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq – KommR Nabil KUZBARI, Director General VIMPEX, Vice-President AACC - Dipl.-Ing. Mouddar KHOUJA, Secretary General AACC - Dr. Reinhart WANECK, Former Secretary of State for Health in Austria –Mr. Mohammed MADANI, Counsellor, Embassy of Saudi Arabia

The Austro Arab Chamber of Commerce Presents Leading Medical Innovations

On October 19, 2011 the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce had its annual highlight with its “Event of the Year”, the 5th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum & Exhibition. This Forum was held in Vienna and visited by around 500 people who are concerned with and interested in Arab-Austrian economic relations in general and in leading medical innovations, such as the “bionic hand” and the “e-human fingerprint” that is to serve as an alternative to electronic e- cards, in particular.

The theme of the Forum this year was health care, medical innovations and medical tourism. The Forum speakers came from different Arab countries such as Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan, as well as from Austria and other countries. The Arab Ambassadors accredited to Austria, businessmen from both, the Arab countries and Austria, concerned with the medical, commercial and economic exchange between Austria and the Arab countries were also active participants in this event. Other cooperation partners were the EUROPEAN FORUM ALPBACH, the MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA and WIRTSCHAFTSKAMMER ÖSTERREICH / PLATTFORUM GESUNDHEITSWIRTSCHAFT.

Senator Dr. Richard SCHENZ, President of the AACC, opened the Forum & Exhibition, followed by an opening address from Ambassador Dr. Mikhail WEHBE, Head of the Office of the Arab League in Austria in the presence of the AACC’s Vice-Presidents KommR Nabil KUZBARI, Mr. Henry HAFEZ, its Secretary General Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA, and a great number of representatives from the Arab Diplomatic Corps, participants and visitors.

Parallel to the Forum an Exhibition comprised of over 40 exhibitors from many Arab embassies and Austrian companies took place. The embassies from EGYPT, KUWAIT, IRAQ, SAUDI ARABIA, SUDAN, SYRIA, TUNISIA, UAE and the representations of QATAR and PALESTINE were offering glimpses of heritage, traditions, handicrafts and traditional foods of their country in addition to brochures and booklets that offer investment possibilities. Companies and institutions such as VAMED, a major medical and hospital Supplies Company, PFIZER Austria for Pharmaceuticals, the OESD (Austrian State Printing House), DMH Franchise (Dr. Max Huber’s Real Estate Company), EMIRATES AIRLINES, ROYAL JORDANIAN, SANLAS HOLDING, the EUROPE ARAB BANK, SITTE VIENNA, DIAKONISSEN-KRANKENHAUS SALZBURG, TRENKA, MEDIZINISCHES ZENTRUM BAD VIGAUN, MIG INTERNATIONAL, the EGYPTIAN TOURISM BUREAU, AUSSENWIRTSCHAFT ÖSTERREICH, were among the exhibitors. The exhibition was also sponsored and supported by VIMPEX HandelsgesmbH, OMV, RAUCH, RED BULL, TUNISAIR, and X-PLUS Management.

The Forum was very well-visited by people interested in the latest developments and innovations in the Austrian medical field as well as in the progress of Arab scientific and medical research.

Dr. Sonia HORN - Professor at the Vienna Medical School, opened the sessions of the Forum tracing the relations of the deep-rooted history of Arabs and Europe, especially in the medical field. Horn pointed to the influential role of Arabic medicine in the enrichment of European civilization, and services provided by the Muslim and Arab scholars to science in Europe. She also noted the important contribution of the European civilization to the support of scientific research in Arab countries, and the progress of these countries and their benefits in the medical field.

The Forum had four discussion sessions; the formal opening session that was chaired by Dr. Walter SCHWIMMER - Former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, comprised of Ambassador Dr. Michael WEHBE - Head of the Office of the Arab League in Vienna, H.E. Mr. Samir KOUBAA - Ambassador of the Tunisian Republic, H.E. Dr. Surood R. NAJIB - Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq, Dr. Erhard BUSEK - former Vice-Chancellor of Austria and Chairman of the University Council of the Medical University in Vienna, Dr. Reinhardt WANECK - Former Austrian Secretary of State for Health, and MMag. Andrea RAFFASEDER - Member of the Executive Board of VAMED Group and CEO VAMED Engineering GmbH. The participants discussed the possibilities of investment in the Arab countries, especially in the field of health care and identifying the leading position of Austria in the medical field and the establishment of medical facilities and supervision.
From left: H.E. Ambassador Mr. Mohamad KOUBAA,– H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mikhail WEHBE – Dr. Erhard BUSEK– H.E. Ambassador Dr. Surood NAJIB – Dr. Reinhart WANECK – MMag.a Andrea RAFFASEDER

The next sessions were experts’ sessions. The first one titled “Health Care and Management” pointed out the importance of hospital and medical centre management and how to raise their efficiencies through proper management. During this session light was shed on the excellent performance at the Austrian hospitals headed by the General Medical Hospital (AKH) and the private hospital Rudolfinerhaus. This session comprised of prominent expert speakers: Prof. Dr. Reinhard KREPLER - Medical Director of the AKH, Prim. Prof. Dr. Paul AIGINGER - Medical Director of the “Rudolfinerhaus” Private Hospital, Ao. Univ. Prof. Dr. Wilhelm BEHRINGER - Medical University of Vienna, Dr. Helmut BREIT - Raiffeisen Bank International, Dr. Robin RUMLER - CEO Pfizer Austria, and was chaired by Dr. Peter GLÄSER - CEO VAMED Management Services.

From left: Dr. Peter GLÄSER – Dr. Robin RUMLER – Dr. Helmut BREIT – Ao.Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wilhelm BEHRINGER –
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Reinhard KREPLER – Prim. Prof. Dr. Paul AIGINGER
The second session titled “Medical Research and Innovation” and chaired by Dr. Rafic KUZBARI, M.D. - Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery, reviewed the latest scientific findings in the field of medical technology. The technology emerged with the “bionic hand” which replaces an infected human hand; Dr. Oskar ASZMANN - Director of the Center for Upper Extremity Reconstruction and Rehabilitation, Medical University of Vienna, showed how to link technical and biological micro-surgery to attain a result beneficial to patients. Mr. Michael GORGI - Managing Director and CEO of MIG International impressed the attendance with the technical biometry that allows the fingers and their blood vessels to act as a natural alternative to electronic smart cards. Other most interesting innovations were presented by Univ. Prof. Dr. Herbert ZECH - OB/Gyn., Specialist in Reproductive Medicine, Prof. Dr. Stefan NEHRER - Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medicine at the University of Krems, Prof. Dr. Nabil Mohie ABDEL-HAMID ALY - Vice-Dean of Society Development and Ecology Affairs, Faculty of Pharmacy, Minia University, Egypt.

From left: Associate Prof. Dr. Rafic KUZBARI – Univ.-Prof. Dr. Herbert ZECH – Univ.-Prof. Dr. Oskar ASZMANN – Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stefan NEHRER – Prof. Dr. Nabil Mohie ABDEL-HAMID ALY – Dipl.-Ing. Michael GORGI

The third session, chaired by Mag. Bettina KÖLBL-RESL - Senior Consultant Thierry Politikberatung, dealt with “Health Care Across National Boundaries”. After a short introduction by Dr. Martin GLEITSMANN - Director of the Department of Social Policy and Health, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, the audience was enlightened, through a presentation by Engineer Hussein AL-OBEIDI - Executive Director of the Arab City for Comprehensive Care, Jordan, about the high potential which the city rendered its services to children and adolescents with special needs. The panelists – among them Mag. Karl HARTLEB - Deputy Director General, ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA – Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Prim. Univ. Doz. Dr. Raimund WEITGASSER – Diakonissen-Krankenhaus Salzburg, and ao.Univ.Prof.Dr. Johannes BREUSS - Medical University of Vienna, Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Institute for Vascular Biology and Thrombosis Research, also discussed the legal issues and human rights associated with medical investments across the borders. 
From left: Dr. Martin GLEITSMANN – Mag. Karl HARTLEB – Dr. Raimund WEITGASSER – Mag. Bettina KÖLBL-RESL – Dr. Johannes BREUSS – Eng. Hussein AL-OBAIDI

The activities of the Fifth Arab Economic Forum were concluded by a lecture held by Mr. Wolf SCHWIPPERT, Attorney-at-law German Board Member of the German Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ghorfa), , who tackled the developments and legal changes in the Arab countries based upon the political and geopolitical changes. He pointed to the differences in the economic systems of the Arab countries, and their effects on trade and public procurement as a tool for social and economic development. The lecture was met with great interest and a considerable feedback by the participating audience.

On the evening before the Forum & Exhibition, the Austro Arab Chamber of Commerce had held its festive Annual Dinner in the presence of the Arab Diplomatic Corps in Austria, AACC members and Arab businessmen in addition to personalities concerned with the economic and trade exchange between Austria and the Arab countries, on October 18, 2011. 
From left: KommR Nabil KUZBARI, Vice-President AACC – Senator Dr. Richard SCHENZ, President AACC – H.E. Dr. Surood NAJIB, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq

The 5th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum & Exhibition and its Opening Dinner were featured by the following media partners: MONITOR TV, AUSTRO-ARAB NEWS and the CERCLE DIPLOMATIQUE.

3 October 2011:

Meeting of Secretaries General and CEO’s of Arab Chambers and
Joint Arab Chambers of Commerce in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


On 3 October 2011, the Secretary General of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce Dipl.-Eng. Mouddar Khouja participated in the Meeting of Secretaries General and CEO’s of Arab and Joint-Arab Chambers of Commerce. The periodical meeting organised by the General Union of Arab Chambers of Commerce and Industry was held this time in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh, and coordinated in cooperation with the Council of Saudi Chambers.

During the one-day programme, the participating delegates and representatives from Arab and Joint-Arab Chambers discussed issues on the increase of Arab exports on a global scale as well as the role of and challenges for Arab Chambers and Joint-Chambers in view of the recent economic developments and changes in the Arab region.

The AACC’s Secretary General Mr Mouddar Khouja was honoured by the exclusive invitation to present his latest project-in-progress of an “International Economic Informational Platform (IEIP)” during one of the main sessions. His innovative idea of the IEIP as a web-based platform to inter-connect its participating chambers and hence to provide its members with exclusive valuable and most actual information from the countries in question, was met with highly positive feedback by the delegates.

Mr. Khouja also seized the opportunity to strengthen and broaden his network with the related chambers and its representatives; his invitation addressed to the Federation of Gulf Cooperation Council Chambers (FGCCC) for a joint Arab-Austrian Forum to be held in 2012 in Austria, was acknowledged with great interest and positive consideration. 
Following are latest news from selected Arab countries:

Speedy public transport to transform Algeria

(Global Arab Network) - Residents of Algiers now have their choice of two new public transport systems operating in the city, one of which is expected to eventually be extended to the suburbs and beyond, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG.

It was a historic occasion on November 1 – almost 30 years after ground was first broken for its construction – when Algiers’ metro line transported its first trainload of people. The $1.2bn, 10-station system, which connects Algiers’ Central Post Office to the suburb of Kouba, is operated by a subsidiary of France’s Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) called RATP-El-Djazaïr.

Algiers, a hilly city of approximately 2.7m people, has until now been served only by a bus network and four cable cars. Now, the newly opened Algiers metro has opened up additional possibilities for faster travel. Though some in the Algerian capital have complained that the AD50 (€0.50) price per journey is too high, it is likely that residents and commuters will be willing to pay this price to escape the congested city’s gridlock. Indeed, during rush hour the metro is expected to transport some 25,000 people per hour, in the hope that this will also reduce the number of cars on the city’s streets.

The metro has been in the making for some time. The 9.5-km line began in 1982, but shuddered to a halt soon after, a victim of economic crisis and civil unrest. When the project was relaunched in 2006, construction was awarded to a consortium that included German global conglomerate Siemens, Spanish firm Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) and French company Vinci Construction.

The consortium leader, Siemens Transportation Systems France, was responsible for the overall project management; CAF was in charge of the rolling stock supply; and Vinci Construction Grand Projects was responsible for the building of the metro stations, tunnel ventilation and the administration building and depot.

The system has also made a concerted effort to address security concerns. Because subway systems can be prime targets for terrorists, the Algiers metro also comes equipped with 244 video cameras and explosives detectors. In addition, 400 police officers specially trained in France are supervising and policing the system.

The Algiers metro complements the city’s newly opened tramway, which was itself subject to a two-year delay. Ordered by the Entreprise du Métro D’Alger (EMA), construction of the AD35bn (€349m) light rail network is taking place in stages, with the first 7.2-km stretch having begun service on May 8.

This first line of the tramway consists of 13 stations and 12 trains running between two densely populated eastern neighbourhoods, the districts of Bab Ezzouar and Bordj el Kiffan. The tramway is expected to transport between 10,000 and 15,000 people per day at a price of AD20 (€0.20) per ticket.

When construction is complete, the tramway system will have 38 stations and cover 23 km in total, running between the country’s second-largest city, Oran, on the west coast and Constantine in the east.

While the country awaits the completion of the delayed and controversial East-West Highway – a $12bn construction project of colossal proportions meant to connect Algeria’s cities, including Algiers, Constantine and Oran, as well as connect it to Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania as part of the Autoroute Transmaghrébhine – the public transport solutions that the tramway and the metro line represent should take some pressure off the country’s transportation woes.

The arrival of speedy, efficient public transport is thus set to transform not just Algiers but the entire stretch of Algeria that lies along the Mediterranean, reducing congestion as well as replacing taxis and private cars as a primary mode of passenger transportation in urban centres. (OBG)

Source: Global Arab Network


Looking up – Bahrain expecting economic growth of 5% in 2012

(Global Arab Network) - After some difficult months, Bahrain’s economy has returned to growth and looks set to accelerate in 2012. While concerns remain about the international climate , public investment and renewed private sector activity are having a positive effect on the country’s economic health.

The Kingdom is expecting growth of 5% next year, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al Khalifa, the chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, told the international press in late October. Al Khalifa said that the government’s stimulus spending, plus financial support from the GCC, would contribute to economic expansion. The GCC has pledged $10bn over 10 years to support the state’s economic and social development policies, including the building of housing to address the current shortage.

Al Khalifa added that local business representatives and officials were intensifying their promotion of the country as an investment destination, taking steps that have included visits to the UK, US, France, Italy and Germany. In mid-October, for example, Al Khalifa was in the UK, encouraging British firms to invest in Bahrain. He highlighted opportunities in sectors that include infrastructure, construction and manufacturing.

Public spending, which is particularly focused on the development of infrastructure, will likely boost the economy. Major projects include a 40-km causeway to Qatar and road improvements to ease Manama’s chronic traffic problems. Some BD14m ($37m) in infrastructure projects were awarded in July and August alone. Considerable investments are also being made in new mixed-use property developments around the capital, as residents look to move to less crowded areas with more modern accommodation and amenities.
International press reports suggest that business activity is picking up in the fourth quarter as stimulus measures feed through to private sector demand. There is also confidence that Bahrain can maintain, if not enhance, its position as one of the region’s leading financial centres – an integral element of its economic diversification programme, which aims to reduce reliance on hydrocarbons exports.

Speaking at seminar entitled “The Resilience of Bahrain’s Financial Sector”, held on November 2 in Manama, Ashraf Bseisu, the CEO of Solidarity Group Holding, a major Bahrain-based provider of takaful (sharia-compliant insurance), said that the Kingdom was well-placed to develop its financial services industry in the wake of the global financial crisis. He added that the country should focus on growing segments such as Islamic finance. “We need to look at niche markets and continue to develop as the leading centre for Islamic banking and insurance,” he said.

Home to the world’s first Islamic financial centre, Bahrain has a deserved reputation as a leading player in the field, several speakers noted. Furthermore, opportunities for growth exist regionally, internationally and indeed domestically – the ongoing residential construction programme is expected to offer considerable potential for housing finance.

As indicated by the significant amount of public investments that are being carried out, the government is aware of the importance of keeping the economy moving in an uncertain global climate while addressing issues of concern to Bahrainis and international investors alike.

While Bahrain has been one of the world’s more open and liberalised economies for some time, the Kingdom fell slightly in the World Bank’s 2012 Doing Business overall ease-of-business rankings, from 33 to 38, out of 183 countries. In an October 23 column reviewing the results of the World Bank report, Bahraini MP Jasim Ali urged the GCC countries to continue carrying out reform measures that would likely improve their future rankings. Given its proven history as a reformer, Bahrain should not find it too difficult to make further improvements to the business climate, which would strengthen its efforts to attract international investment. (OBG)

Source: Global Arab Network


Egypt - A major player in information economy

(Global Arab Network) - In what comes as no surprise for a country that used Facebook, Twitter and mobile phones to help overturn a political regime, a recent report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) stated that Egypt “is poised to emerge as a major player in the information economy”, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG.

UNCTAD, which carried out its assessment of Egypt’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector at the request of the government, published its first-ever ICT Policy Review for the country on October 26. The report examines a range of ICT development indicators, including infrastructure, skills development, technology use in education, export-oriented business in the industry and the use of e-content in Arabic. It highlights the country’s already strong ICT backbone and suggests a number of ways in which the sector could grow and better achieve its potential.

Egypt’s recognition by UNCTAD comes on the back of several years’ worth of increasing activity in the ICT sector, both in terms of retail user penetration, as well as in infrastructure development, innovation and service provision. In recent years Egypt has done well in the field of business process outsourcing (BPO), capitalising on competitive advantages that include an educated, multi-lingual workforce; relatively low labour and overhead costs; a location that allows it to service Europe as well as much of Asia and Africa; a group of outward-looking ICT entrepreneurs; and the development of integrated ICT facilities in clusters near major cities.

Each year, Egypt produces more graduates than any other Arabic-speaking country – there were more than 330,000 in 2009 – many of who seek jobs in the BPO sector. With a large pool of native Arabic speakers, Egypt is well positioned to service much of the rest of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and several European languages are also widely spoken.
Egypt ranked fourth in the world on the 2011 Global Services Location Index (GSLI), a ranking of offshoring destinations published by international consultancy AT Kearney, having risen from 12th position since 2007.

Indeed, a number of major international firms have established outsourcing centres in the country in recent years. These include an IBM finance and accounting BPO centre; Vodafone’s knowledge process outsourcing and contact centre serving the UK, Germany and New Zealand; and two US-based BPO firms, Stream Global Services and Sutherland Global Services, that have set up contact centres.

However, to further develop the sector, Egypt should target several areas, the UNCTAD report notes. These include “building a more inclusive information economy” – an acknowledgement that the country still has a deep digital divide. The development of ICT training, as well as the growing use of technology in schools, means that this gap is increasingly between age groups rather than economic ones.

The country is already growing in one particular niche area. “One of the biggest growth areas that have accelerated after the revolution has been document archiving services,” said Steve Clay, the general manager of Xerox Egypt. “Many physical document storage areas were burned during the revolution. Egypt could be another hub for archiving services in the MENA region.”

The country could also benefit from developing ICT infrastructure in underserved areas, according to the UN organisation. Egypt has had great success with the Smart Village, a technology park located in the outskirts of Cairo and home to many of the major ICT and BPO enterprises, and the model is being replicated elsewhere, most notably in Alexandria.

However, UNCTAD suggests that similar firms outside well-supported clusters do not have similar access, which can present a challenge. Purpose-built office buildings with the networks and structure required by ICT companies are hard to come by, although this shortage is being addressed to a certain extent by the development of commercial buildings in the capital’s suburbs.

Other areas for improvement are familiar to Egyptian businesspeople in most sectors: a need to harness the potential of small and medium-sized enterprises; better development and use of human resources, including through expanded use of technology in the education system; and the medium- to long-term goal of developing value-added services in the sector. All of these require both support and investment from the government and the active participation of the private sector.

Given that Egypt faces international competition from the likes of India and the Philippines for general outsourcing work, industry leaders are keen to develop niches in which Egypt has particular competitive advantages and to offer more sophisticated services with the aim of improving margins. Arabic-language services and products are one area in which the country has a great deal of potential, and information technology outsourcing is seen as another.

Source: Global Arab Network


Private equity fund to boost small and medium enterprises in Jordan

(Global Arab Network) - Amidst a slowdown in the Middle East’s private equity industry, Jordan’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are set to get a boost from a new private equity fund, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG.

Aimed at facilitating investment in new businesses, the fund will enable SMEs to access liquidity from a new source, a vital step as finance coming from traditional means – specifically banks – remains one of the biggest obstacles to business expansion and job creation in the country.

The $50m Jordan Growth Capital Fund will provide long-term financing and institutional support to up to 15 SMEs with high potential in fast-growth sectors such as technology.

“The Jordan Growth Capital Fund is the first venture capital fund targeting SMEs in the Kingdom,” said Eng. Yarub Qudah, the CEO of JEDCO. “This initiative will play a major role in attracting international venture capital funds and foreign direct investors to invest in Jordanian SMEs. In addition, it will help in encouraging Jordanians to establish their own venture capital funds that will create a new sector specialised in fund management activities.”

JEDCO, in partnership with the EIB, spearheaded the Jordan Growth Capital Fund initiative in order to foster the development of the venture capital industry in the kingdom. Abraaj Capital, which is investing $20m in the fund, was also awarded the contract to manage it.

As the government’s national development and export promotion organisation, JEDCO helps Jordanian companies compete globally by fostering export opportunities in targeted regional and international markets. It also helps to enhance technical, logistic and administrative expertise.

“The fund is expected to make a key contribution to the emergence of the risk capital industry in Jordan with its talent pool and entrepreneurial energy,” Philippe de Fontaine Vive Curtaz, EIB’s vice-president, told reporters.

The EIB, via its financial arm in the Mediterranean, the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership, provides support for economic and social development in the Mediterranean region. The EIB’s involvement in the Jordan project is part of the bank’s annual €2bn investment in the region, where it is planning to accelerate its investment in Jordan as well as Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. As of the end of 2010, the EIB had made overall investments of more than €12bn in Mediterranean countries.

“SMEs are the engine of the region’s future economic growth and a vital source of social and economic stability,” Mustafa Abdel Wadood, the CEO of Abraaj Capital, said. “Addressing the region’s employment challenge and fostering the growth of entrepreneurship clearly go hand in hand.”

In September, RED invested in Jordan’s d1g.com, one of the fastest-growing Arabic social media and content sharing platforms in the Middle East and North Africa region. With 1m subscribers and more than 4.8m unique visitors per month, d1g.com offers its target audience – Arab youth aged 12 to 25 – Arabic-language discussion forums and video and audio sharing, as well as entertainment content.

Source: Global Arab Network


Large scale sukuks – Kuwait developing legal framework to regulate Islamic finance

(Global Arab Network) - While Kuwait has to date played a relatively small role in the fast-growing global market for sukuks, or Islamic bonds, this could change, should lawmakers develop and implement a more robust legal framework to regulate the issuance of sharia-compliant debt, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG.

In the meantime, however, two entities with strong ties to the country – Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) and Kuveyt Turk participation bank, which is 62% owned by Kuwait Finance House (KFH) – have in recent months raised funds by selling sukuks.

In August, the GIC announced that it had issued a five-year, RM750m ($239.8m) Islamic bond in Malaysia, the second installment of a much larger 20-year, RM3.5bn ($1.1bn) medium-term wakala bi istithmar (Arabic for “agency for investment”) sukuk programme.
Wakala sukuks are an increasingly popular form of Islamic bond, in part because they are considered sharia-compliant in both Malaysia and the GCC. According to research by Saudi Arabia-based National Commercial Bank, of the $64.5bn worth of sukuks issued worldwide during the first three quarters in 2011, wakala sukuks accounted for $5.3bn, or about 8% of the total. By comparison, this type of Islamic bond made up only 4% of sukuks issued in 2010.

According to Reuters, other GCC-based entities that are considering the issuance of sukuks include Bahrain’s Gulf International Bank and the government of Dubai.

For GCC companies looking to float sharia-compliant debt, it is easy to see why Malaysia, which has one of the most advanced Islamic legislative frameworks in the world, is an attractive option. This is in contrast to Kuwait, where the legal structure for sukuks remains relatively undeveloped.

Although a 2007 ministerial decree allowed the issuance of Islamic-compliant bonds, experts have opined that further legislative changes would be necessary to allow the market to flourish. In fact, no sukuks have ever been issued domestically in Kuwait, while there were only nine international issuances by Kuwait-based entities between 2001 and 2010, according to the International Islamic Financial Market, the Malaysia-based global standardisation body for Islamic finance. The combined value of these sukuks was $1.58bn, less than 1% of the total value of all sukuks issued globally during this period.

The government of Kuwait, however, has moved to address this with new sukuk laws, which are presently under development. This would be in line with the government’s decision to establish a Capital Markets Authority, which began operations in 2011 and is expected increase transparency and improve the overall functioning of Kuwait’s capital markets.

The importance of a robust legal framework to support the development of a local sukuk market was underscored by recent events in Turkey, which in October saw the issuance of a $350m, five-year sukuk by Kuveyt Turk participation bank, a Turkey-based sharia-compliant bank.

Issuance of sharia-compliant debt has been allowed in Turkey only since April 2010, when the sector’s regulator, the Capital Markets Board, promulgated a new rule regarding “leasing certificates”, as sukuks are known locally. Lawmakers subsequently amended the tax laws in early 2011 such that leasing certificates of the “al Ijara” type would be exempt from certain taxes, bringing the tax structure for Islamic debt in line with that applied to conventional bonds.

Liquidity Management House, an investment company wholly owned by KFH, was one of the joint lead managers on the Kuveyt Turk sukuk, along with HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Commerz Bank. Issued at par with a coupon of 5.875%, the sukuk attracted orders totaling almost $550m, with investors from the Gulf accounting for nearly 70% of final subscribers. The Islamic bond, which was rated BBB- by Fitch, will be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Source: Global Arab Network


Qatar leading the world by 41.8% year-on-year growth

(Global Arab Network) - Qatar’s economy is set to post near record high growth again this year, after leading the world in 2010, though there are some concerns that this rapid expansion could lead to overheating. Meanwhile, Doha will be keeping a wary eye on the economic health of its major trading partners, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG.

The Qatari economy expanded by a staggering 41.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) in the second quarter of 2011, with nominal GDP rising from $29.7bn in second-quarter 2010 to $42.2bn in the April to June term this year, according to data released by the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA) at the beginning of October. This massive increase came on top of an 8.8% rise in the first quarter of the year.

“Rising levels in the quantity of gas-related products and high energy prices have been the main drivers of nominal y-o-y quarterly GDP increase,” the QSA said in a statement. “The main contributor was the increase in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other gas-related products. Condensates and other natural gas liquids showed a major jump following the operation at full capacity of the two new LNG mega trains.”

In late September, the IMF predicted that the Qatari economy would expand by 18.7% this year, falling back to a more moderate 6% in 2012, in part a result of the completion of a number of high cost state investment programmes.

This high rate of growth will also allow the government to build up its cash reserves, with estimates putting the current budget surplus for 2011 at $8.5bn, the equivalent of 4.9% of GDP in financial year 2011/12, according to a report issued on October 4 by QNB Capital, a unit of Qatar National Bank.

Though this surplus will ease somewhat to $7.5bn in the 2012/13 fiscal year, mainly due to increased outlays, the Qatari budget is forecast to remain well in the black for an extended period, with GDP set to increase by 10% in 2012 and beyond. An earlier study conducted by QNB Capital, carried out near the end of September, said that the national economy would be worth $173bn this year, rising to $197bn in 2012.

Though a strengthening economy is to be welcomed, there are some concerns that Qatar could experience too much of a good thing, with worries that high levels of liquidity could fuel inflation. There may be some truth behind these concerns, with QSA figures issued on September 28 showing that the Qatari consumer price index reached a two-year high in August. Though still at a modest 2.1% y-o-y, this could rise further if consumer demand grows.

The recent decision by the government to raise public servants’ wages and allowances by 60%, with a 120% rise for military personnel, could also prime the inflationary pumps, though the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has said it will take whatever measures are necessary to drain excess liquidity out of the market should steps be needed to rein in demand-based inflation.

While working from a position of fiscal strength, Qatar is already aware of the possible fallout from a return to global recession. The country’s growth and surplus figures are based on the premise that the world will continue to buy that which Qatar has for sale, mainly gas and oil. At least one IMF official has sounded a note of caution over the potential for an economic downturn in other regions having an impact on Qatar and the other GCC member states.

However, Qatar is better placed in terms of financial reserves than some of its neighbours, even it may have to take measures to protect its economy from any ills suffered by the global banking sector, sovereign debt market or a weakening of emerging markets.

Though care will be needed to manage any fallout from a weakening global economy, the Qatari government has the tools and funds in hand to counter any blips on the economic radar. Having already announced state-backed investments of $95bn between now and 2016, and with expectations that the private sector will also come to the party with up to $130bn more over that time, Qatar will be looking to keep its own economy moving forward, even if those elsewhere stall.(OBG)

Source: Global Arab Network


Saudi Arabia: Investment programme starts to bear fruit

(Global Arab Network) - High domestic spending and sound levels of liquidity are expected to offset any adverse effects of Europe’s debt crisis on the Saudi Arabian economy, and the Kingdom looks set to maintain its solid growth for the remainder of this year and into the next, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG.

Despite the cooling of many Western economies and recent forecasts from the World Bank that some Asian countries may see growth rates ease, Saudi Arabia’s GDP growth predictions have been revised upwards, with some expecting the expansion will be as much as 6.9% in 2011.

Though the Kingdom’s growth rate is then expected to slow in 2012 – estimates of expansion range from 4.5% at the lower end of the scale to 5.1% at the upper – the country is still poised to outperform most of it neighbours.

According to the minister of finance, Ibrahim Al Assaf, while the European financial crisis remains the main challenge to international economic growth, Saudi Arabia is well placed to overcome it. While other economies around the world are slipping in and out of recession, the Kingdom has continued to post growth throughout the extended period of the crisis, said Al Assaf.

Jarmo Kotilaine, the chief economist at the National Commercial Bank in Jeddah, agreed, saying that while a deepening of the crisis in Europe could weaken the purchasing power of currencies in the region, and in turn lower global oil demand, Saudi Arabia is ready to ride out any downturn, thanks to its long-term policy of diversifying the economy and investing in key infrastructure and social programmes.

Diversification of another sort may also help Riyadh should Europe return to negative growth. Having developed its export markets far beyond the continent, shipping to Asia, North America and closer to home, Saudi Arabia has built a buffer against the impact of a downturn in a single region hitting it too hard.

Adding to the promising expectations, Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes said in a report issued in mid-November that growth would remain solid going into the new year, despite an expected reduction in oil production due to Libyan supplies returning to the market. Much of this expansion would come as a result of state spending, the bank said.

“We see investment activity driving growth in 2012, with government commitment and resources,” the bank’s report said. “Project awards look to remain robust in the fourth quarter of 2011, which should lead to strong project activity into 2012. Planned projects are also set to increase in 2012, although we will see some spread into 2013 and 2014.”

Indeed, it would be surprising if there were not at least some of the spread that EFG expects. With the government committed to massive investments in housing, logistics and energy infrastructure, and health and education, the country’s construction sector is being inundated with lucrative contracts and may in fact struggle to meet all of the deadlines.

One issue that Saudi officials will be keeping an eye on is inflation, which has been hovering around 5.2% for the past few months. Though consumer prices have not jumped excessively of late, there are concerns they could spike in the new year, as the government’s massive investment and spending programme – which includes wage increases for state employees – fully kicks in.

Fairly secured against the weakening situation in Europe, and with solid fiscal foundations to sustain its domestic economy should the need arise, Saudi Arabia can look forward to 2012 with a degree of expectation, particularly as its investment programme starts to bear fruit. (OBG)

Source: Global Arab Network


Post-revolution election – Tunisia opening economic doors

(Global Arab Network) - With the country’s first post-revolution election now successfully concluded, Tunisia’s government once again has begun to focus on economic policymaking, in a bid to mitigate some of the uncertainty brought about by the political instability, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG.

The moderate Islamist Ennahda won 90 of the 217 seats in the October 23 poll, more than three times as many as its nearest rival, the Congress for the Republic (CPR), securing just over 40% of the popular vote. However, while having a strong mandate to form the next government, party officials have been quick to stress Ennahda’s commitment to a market economy, one that gives greater emphasis to the private sector.

On November 9, Hamadi Jebali, the secretary general of Ennahda – shortly before he became the country’s next prime minister later in the month – told a meeting of party officials and representatives of the Association of Stock Market Brokers that the new government would strive to encourage and support both Tunisian and foreign investors. Ennahda would also work with all elements of society and the political sphere to build consensus and a sound economic development scheme, he said.

While stressing its commitment to rebuilding the economy, Ennahda differs from the interim administration it will be replacing in terms of how this will be achieved, and on how to pay for that regeneration.

According to Ridha Saidi, the head of Ennahda’s economic bureau, the incoming government is wary of dipping too deeply into the international debt market to fund reforms and new projects. Tunisia’s interim government had drafted an economic package, dubbed the Jasmin Plan, which encompassed legislative and regulatory reforms aimed at creating a more open business climate with extensive investments and incentives to boost economic activity. Of the plan’s $87bn budget, some 30% was to be raised through overseas borrowings, a level Ennahda saw as too high.

As an alternative, Ennahda has proposed opening up the financial sector to greater participation via sharia-compliant lenders, who are a recent arrival in the country, while also considering making use of sukuk, or Islamic bonds. By encouraging more Islamic banks to enter the local market, and by making use of the products the sector offers, Ennahda officials such as Ridha Chkoundali believe the country’s banking industry will be strengthened.

Another reason that the government may be unwilling to raise loans overseas is the potential cost. In early November – just days after the election results were announced – ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) reaffirmed Tunisia’s BBB- rating, with a negative outlook assessment, first assigned to it in March. Such a rating would make lenders slightly wary, especially with the international debt markets deeply troubled by events across the Mediterranean, while interest rates would be at the higher end of the scale.

In its statement, S&P said the outcome of the ballot itself was not a factor in its decision not to improve Tunisia’s ratings or outlook. Moreover, the agency said it would be closely following “whether the new government will support the economic recovery by taking medium-term policy measures and pursuing structural reforms while maintaining macroeconomic stability”.

While sending out positive messages to local and foreign businesses, the new government will need to act fast to improve the lives of Tunisians on the street. Data issued by the National Institute of Statistics in early November shows that unemployment topped 18% as of the end of May, with just over 700,000 registered as jobless, some 200,000 more than a year before.

With most analysts forecasting modest economic growth at best this year, and with GDP predicted to either remain stagnant or rise by 1%, according to local media, the government will be looking to the new year for signs of recovery, and with it an increase in hirings to help drain off some of the unemployment pool.

In order to achieve this and other goals set by the party, such as boosting GDP by 7% annually between 2012 and 2020, increasing per capita income from $4400 to $7000 and making the economy more resistant to external shocks, Ennahda is going to have to work hard alongside both domestic and foreign investors. (OBG)

Source: Global Arab Network


Abu Dhabi: Rail network to streamline logistics and increase development in UAE

(Global Arab Network) - Abu Dhabi will soon be connected to the other emirates of the UAE and to the wider region by a broad-gauge rail network that will streamline logistics, boost exports and increase industrial development, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG.

On November 15, Richard Bowker, the CEO of Etihad Rail – the state-owned company tasked with developing the UAE’s mainline rail network – announced it would soon call for tenders for the second stage of the $11bn project.

The contracting process for phase two would begin in a matter of weeks, with contracts being awarded by the second quarter or third quarter of next year, Bowker told media at a conference in Abu Dhabi.

“This stage is bigger than the first in scale and scope and will connect ports with industrial and urban centres,” he said.

That would put the cost of the project’s second phase well over $900m, the price tag for the initial stage, which consisted of track construction and associated infrastructure connecting the cities of Habshan, Shah and Ruwais in Abu Dhabi’s western region.

In total, the network will consist of more than 1200 km of track and provide heavy cargo shifting capacity to access ports on both the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman and thence to the Indian Ocean, a significant advantage should there be any disruption to shipping traffic in the Strait of Hormuz. When completed, the dual-track network will be able to handle an estimated 50m tonnes of freight annually.

Though the first train will not pull out before 2013, Etihad Rail has already signed up several major clients, having struck agreements with cement producer Arkan and Etihad Steel, along with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), which intends to use the line to haul sulphur, a by-product of its operations.

Customers’ increasing interest in freight haulage services helps prove the project’s viability, suggested Bowker. “Etihad is now moving from a single-customer railroad to a rail network with multiple customers,” he said.

While the project will benefit all of the UAE’s states, the emirate of Abu Dhabi looks to gain the most from the national rail grid, in the beginning at least. Not only will the first and most of the second segments of the line be built within the emirate, but all of the clients linked to the development so far are Abu Dhabi firms. The emirate will also benefit when the network is linked to the wider GCC rail system in both Saudi Arabia and Oman.

While heavily dependent on hydrocarbons, Abu Dhabi has been actively diversifying its economy, including investing in chemicals and manufacturing. Rail is one of the best methods to move both raw materials and finished products from these industries.

As such, it is not surprising that Etihad Rail is 70% owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, with the remaining 30% controlled by the UAE’s federal government, of which the emirate is the largest single contributor of funds.

Parts of the Etihad network, especially those to be laid down in Abu Dhabi, will offer challenges to engineers, due to shifting sands and extreme heat. However, officials are confident these can be overcome, and that the emirate is on track to further boost its economy. (OBG)

Source: Global Arab Network


The AACC is honoured to welcome and introduce its new members until November 2011:


Bakalowits Licht Design GmbH
„It is our declared goal to create chandeliers which symbolize a new world of light design. With a background of more than 150 years of experience in design and manufacturing, we continue the tradition of Bakalowits thus proving through our products that exclusive design and exquisite metals can be combined with the exact cut of fine crystal.”

Bakalowits Licht Design GmbH
A: Gumpendorferstraße 32, 1060 Wien
T: +43 (0) 1 9202626 | F: +43 (0) 1 9202676
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | W:www.bakalowits.com

Globe Development GmbH
Since 1996 Globe Development specialises in satisfying the needs of the diplomatic community by offering a vast range of services and consumer products next to running duty free shops in various countries. We serve diplomats in Europe, CIS states, the Baltic and Central Asia.Our new warehouse located in Vienna guarantees a speedy and free of charge delivery.

Globe Development GmbH
A: Schwarzenbergplatz 10/2/2, 1040 Wien
T: +43 (0) 1 504 89 68 – 0 | F: +43 (0) 1 504 89 68-33
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | W:www.globe-austria.at 

Scope of work: Construction public works (civil, electric, mechanical, finishing etc...), Metallic Structure provider and erection, and Real Estate Development. Established in Lebanon since 1950; in Algeria since 2006. Main projects done in the past 4 years: Nestlé Waters; production facilities in Blida. NCA Juices; production facilities in Rouiba. Promasidore Milk; production facilities in Guerrwaw. Ministry of National Defense; brigades in Algiers, Blida, Boumerdess, Tipaza, Djelfa, Msila.

A: Siège social : Lotissement Haouche KAOUCHE N°34- Dély Ibrahim – Alger – Algérie
T: +213 213 70721, + 21321373902 | F: + 213 21374036
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Medicon Medical Consulting e.U.

Offered: Services and Know How. Analysis, concepts and project implementation involving the integration of the following complex environments: hospitals, doctors' surgeries, private and preventive medicine, acute medical care, POCT, transfusion medicine. Strategy - planning and consulting services to develop innovative and efficient structures in respect of medical laboratory diagnostics, creation of cost and organisation studies, project management and project implementation.

Medicon Medical Consulting
A: Millenium Tower 23. Stock, Handelskai 94-96, 1200 Wien
T: +43 (0) 1 240 273 00 | F: +43 (0) 1 240 272 00
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | W:www.medicon.at 

MIG Int. GmbH

MIG Int. is a technology holding headquartered in Vienna, Austria with currently nine legal entities in the EMEA region. MIG designs, produces and directly markets a broad range of technologies including RFID, Biometrics and SecurITy solutions that create a unique and innovative offering to its clients. At MIG, we focus on the Identification and Authentication of individuals (People and Animals) , Assets and electronic Transactions. We actively care about the protection of our environment by investing in innovative technologies that promote the renewable and sustainable energy (Wind & Solar) in the Mediterranean region.

MIG Int. GmbH
A: Wolfganggasse 45-47, 1120 Wien
T: +43 (0) 1 890 3661 | W:www.mig-int.eu 

Najwan Trading & Contracting Co. W.L.L.
Trading and Contracting Company, based in Kuwait.

Najwan Trading & Contracting Co. W.L.L.
A: P.O. Box 66499 Bayan,  Faiha - Kuwait
T: +965 99633306 | F: +965 24912150
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | W:www.dolphinkuwait.com 

Nesma National Telecommunication Co. Ltd.
Natel was established in 1988. It is a 100% Saudi Private Limited Liability Company and a member of the Nesma family of Companies. Based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Natel has efficiently and successfully fulfilled stringent client requirements and schedules in the telecom field. Natel has the resources and the experience to implement telecom turnkey projects in the Middle East.

Nesma National Telecommunication Co. Ltd.
A: Exit 12, Rowdah P.O.Box 66851, Riyadh
T: +966 1 493 65 84 | F: +966 1 493 64 20
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | W:www.nesmatelecom.com 

Soja Austria

SOJA AUSTRIA was founded in 1996 after several Austrian soy mills were incorporated into the family business. In recent years, it has evolved into an international player. The cultivation of soy, which was in the early stages of development at the time of Austria's accession to the EU, was promoted thanks to the dedication of SOJA AUSTRIA. Quickly, SOJA AUSTRIA established itself as natural alternative to other soy processors. The introduction of growing contracts for NON-GMO (non genetically modified organism) soybeans in Austria enabled the development and manufacturing of products, which are an essential ingredient of recipes of the most important food companies in Europe.

Soja Austria
A: Schloss Schönbrunn 80, 1130 Wien
T: +43 (0) 1 8793434 | F: +43 (0) 1 879343582
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | W:www.soja.at 

Scope of work: trade, marketing, public relations.

A: Leithastrasse 26, 1200 Wien
T: +43 (0) 1 8904956 | F: +43 (0) 1 8904956
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | W:www.steamjet.eu 

TOPO-Pharma Forschungs-und Produktionsges.m.b.H
Scope of work: research and production of flavours and raw materials.

TOPO-Pharma Forschungs-und Produktionsges.m.b.H
A: Neutorgasse 4-8, 1010 Wien
T: +43 (0) 1 715 21 11| F: +43 (0) 1 715 21 11 316
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | W:www.topo-pharma.at 

Wedding Affairs Mimina events GmbH

Wedding Affairs is bringing to light the best of wedding culture for you to design your wedding in its most beautiful details. «Wedding Affairs« is for you to find the most wonderful things to suit your dreams. The most charming ideas, wonderful wedding gowns and shoes (!), breathtaking locations, exquisite food, delicious cakes, astonishing photos, individualized wedding lists, perfect planning, stunning decoration concepts, romantic destinations and honeymoon and so much more.

Wedding Affairs Mimina events GmbH
A: Apollogasse 7/6, 1070 Wien
T: +43 (0) 1 7188874 | F: +43 (0) 1 7189376
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | W: www.weddingaffairs.at  


Mag. Renua Chadeh


 غرفة التجارة العربية النمساوية تعرض الابتكارات الطبية الرائدة

اختتمت غرفة التجارة العربية النمساوية نشاطاتها السنوية هذا العام بإقامة فعاليات المنتدى الاقتصادي العربي النمساوي الخامس، والذي أقيم يوم الأربعاء 19 أكتوبر 2011 في العاصمة النمساوية فيينا، وسط حضور كثيف بلغ 500 شخص من المعنيين بالشأن الطبي والاقتصادي والتجاري. وبرز خلال المنتدى اهتمام كبير بالأبحاث حول الابتكارات الطبية الرائدة، وخاصة اليد الإلكترونية، والبصمة البشرية كبديل للبطاقات الإلكترونية الذكية.
فقد دارت محاور المنتدى هذا العام حول الرعاية الصحية والابتكارات في المجال الطبي، وسياحة الاستشفاء؛ حيث قدم للمشاركة في هذا المنتدى ضيوف من العديد من الدول العربية، مثل مصر والعراق والأردن، كما شارك في فعالياته لفيف من سفراء الدول العربية المعتمدين لدى النمسا، ورجال أعمال من الجانبين العربي والنمساوي، من المعنيين بالشأن الطبي والتبادل التجاري والاقتصادي بين النمسا والوطن العربي.
وعلى هامش المنتدى، أقيم معرض شاركت فيه العديد من سفارات الدول العربية بعرض لمحات من التراث والتقاليد، إضافة إلى المشغولات اليدوية والمأكولات التقليدية لكل دولة، وكذلك مطويات وكتيبات تعرض إمكانيات الاستثمار فيها.. كما شاركت شركات نمساوية كبرى مثل شركة فاميد للإنشاءات الطبية ومستلزمات المستشفيات، وشركة فايزر السويسرية للمستحضرات الطبية، بالإضافة إلى هيئة المطابع الحكومية النمساوية وشركة ماكس هوبر للعقارات. كما شاركت خطوط الطيران الإماراتية والأردنية والتونسية في هذا الحدث الهام.
وشهدت جلسات المنتدى الاقتصادي الخامس، إقبالا من قبل الراغبين بالتعرف على أحدث ما توصلت إليه النمسا في المجال الطبي، وكذلك الإطلاع على البحث العلمي العربي في المجال الطبي، وما ناله من تقدم. وافتتحت جلسات المنتدى الدكتورة سونيا هورن الأستاذة بجامعة الطب في فيينا، بكلمة استعرضت خلالها العلاقات الضاربة بجذورها في أعماق تاريخ العرب وأوروبا، وبخاصة في المجال الطبي.
وأشارت هورن إلى الدور المؤثر للطب العربي في إثراء الحضارة الأوروبية، والخدمات التي قدمها علماء العرب والمسلمين للعلم في أوروبا. كما نوّهت هورن بما تقدمه الحضارة الأوروبية من دعم للبحث العلمي في الدول العربية، وما تحققه هذه الدول من إفادات في المجال الطبي.
وانقسم المنتدى إلى أربع جلسات نقاشية، بدأت بالجلسة الافتتاحية الرسمية؛ بمشاركة كل من الدكتور ميخائيل وهبه، رئيس مكتب جامعة الدول العربية لدى النمسا، والسيد محمد سمير قبها، سفير الجمهورية التونسية، والدكتور سرود نجيب سفير دولة العراق، والدكتور إيرهارد بوسيك النائب الأسبق للمستشار النمساوي، ورئيس مجلس جامعة فيينا للطب، بالإضافة إلى الدكتور راينهارت فانيك، وزير الدولة للشؤون الصحية الأسبق، والسيدة أندريا رافسيدر المديرة التنفيذية لشركة فاميد. واستعرض المشاركون إمكانيات الاستثمار في الدول العربية، وبخاصة في مجال الرعاية الصحية، بالإضافة إلى التعرف على المكانة الرائدة للنمسا في المجال الطبي وإقامة المنشآت الطبية والإشراف عليها.
وتبعت الجلسة الافتتاحية، ثلاث جلسات متخصصة، تناولت الأولى، والتي كانت بعنوان "الرعاية الصحية والإدارة"، أبرز معالم إدارة المستشفيات والمراكز الطبية، وسبل رفع كفاءتها والحفاظ على مستويات إدارة جيدة فيها. وتم خلال الجلسة إلقاء الضوء على الأداء المتميز الذي تقوم به المستشفيات النمساوية، وعلى رأسها المستشفى العام في مدينة فيينا، ومستشفى رودلفينا هاوس الخاص في العاصمة النمساوية.
وانشغلت الجلسة الثانية، التي حملت عنوان "البحث في المجال الطبي والابتكار"، باستعراض أحدث ما توصل إليه العلم في مجال التقنيات الطبية. وبرزت تقنية اليد الإلكترونية، التي تحل محل اليد البشرية المصابة؛ حيث أوضح الدكتور أوسكار أسمان كيفية الربط بين التقني والبيولوجي في الجراحات الدقيقة للخروج بنتائج نافعة للمرضى. كما أبهر المهندس ميخائيل جورجي المدير الإداري لشركة ميج إنترناشيونال بالتقنية البيومترية التي تجعل من أصابع اليد وما تحتويه من أوعية دموية بديلا طبيعيا للبطاقات الإلكترونية الذكية.
وفي الجلسة الثالثة، التي حملت عنوان الرعاية الصحية وراء الحدود، تعرف الحضور من خلال عرض للمهندس حسين العبيدي، مدير المدينة العربية للرعاية الصحية الشاملة، والتي تتخذ من الأردن مقرا لها على الإمكانيات العالية التي تقوم عليها المدينة وما تقدمه من خدمات للأطفال والصبية من ذوي الاحتياجات الخاصة. كما ناقشت الجلسة المسائل القانونية والحقوقية المرتبطة بالاستثمارات الطبية خارج الحدود.
واختتمت فعاليات المنتدى الاقتصادي العربي النمساوي الخامس بمداخلة للمحامي الألماني عضو مجلس إدارة غرفة التجارة والصناعة العربية الألمانية فولف شفيبرت، استعرض فيها التطورات والتغيرات القانونية في ظل ما تشهده الدول العربية من تغييرات جيوسياسية؛ حيث أشار إلى الاختلافات في النظم الاقتصادية داخل الدول العربية، وتأثيرات ذلك على حركة التجارة مع هذه الدول، والمشتريات العامة كأداة للتنمية الاجتماعية والاقتصادية.
وكانت غرفة التجارة العربية النمساوية قد أقامت مأدبة عشاء يوم الثلاثاء 18 أكتوبر 2011، تكريما لضيوف المنتدى. وحضر الحفل أعضاء السلك الدبلوماسي العربي في النمسا، ورجال الأعمال العرب والنمساويين، والمعنيين بالشأن الاقتصادي والتبادل التجاري بين النمسا والدول العربية.
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