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Economic Focus is an Arab-British Chamber of Commerce publication. Editorial Team Abdeslam El-Idrissi Cliff Lawrence David Morgan Dr Yasmin Husein Arab-British Chamber of Commerce 43 Upper Grosvenor Street London W1K 2NJ Tel: +44 (0) 20 7235 4363 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7245 6688

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CONTENTS Focus Reports Focus Interview: Graham Flannery, Director, Business Development Middle East, India & Turkey, Travelex 4 8

Saudi Railways Expansion

Strengthening Ties between UK and Dubai Commercial Courts 12 UAE Draft Commercial Companies Law 18

Disclaimer Distinctive Publishing or Arab-British Chamber of Commerce cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that may occur, individual products or services advertised or late entries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or scanned without prior written permission of the publishers and ArabBritish Chamber of Commerce.

Expatriate Healthcare in the Arab World


Investing in Jordan


Focus Interview: Antoine Mattar, Director, Consolidated Contractors Company 36 Quarterly British Economic Survey 54

Transport and Logistics A Special Report

Chamber News Chamber Activities


New Members


Arabic Section


UK Residential Property Tax Update 32

ISSN No: ISSN 1751-4339

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Travelex sees incredibly bright future in the Arab markets Economic Focus speaks to Graham Flannery, Director, Business Development Middle East, India & Turkey, Travelex, about his company’s activities in the growth markets of the Middle East.

In 2003 Travelex entered the Middle East with its first branch in Oman. What initially inspired the company to look at the Arab markets and how do you view the market today? Travelex acquired Thomas Cook Financial Services in 2001, putting us in a stronger position to move into new and emerging markets. The growth potential in the Gulf was already apparent and with clear ambitions to be the leading foreign exchange specialist globally, we simply needed to be in the Middle East. Today, we continue to view the Middle East very much as a growth market, which not only provides significant opportunity to our existing retail network of airport and off airport stores, but it is also a region where we can explore the introduction of services such as wholesale banknote supply. We believe that there is good potential for Travelex to develop key relationships with a number of banks in the region and to introduce a range of innovative outsourcing products and services, many of which we currently offer in other parts of the world. The region has become a hub for both business and leisure travellers. Dubai is on track to become the world’s busiest international airport - having delivered incredible growth in very challenging

times. Abu Dhabi is developing a fantastic new Midfield Terminal and Doha will shortly open Hamad International Airport, which will set a new global benchmark for quality and customer experience. The new Muscat International Airport is currently under construction and we eagerly await its opening. As a global brand, we are obviously very keen to work with our partners, to maximise the opportunities that this level of investment in infrastructure will undoubtedly bring to the region. As a company, we are investing heavily in our own global HR, Finance and IT infrastructure, to ensure that we are able to support our customers and colleagues with leading edge systems and technology. We see this as a key enabler in realising our expansion plans for the region.

What were the specific attractions of setting up in Oman? Oman, in particular, was an appealing market for our first venture in the Middle East as the government had already set out a clear commitment to supporting the country’s growth as a tourist destination. Combined with planned developments for the airport and a growing population of migrant workers, this all made good sense for us to break into the region.

How has Travelex expanded in the region over the past decade? Since 2003, starting with just one store at Muscat International Airport, we have entered Bahrain (2004), the UAE (2006) and in July 2012, we commenced trading at Doha International Airport. We will have a total of 65 stores by the end of 2013 across the four countries, with plans to open a further 75 stores over the next three years. We have a strong, dynamic and experienced team in place across the region, working hard to grow our existing business, but also to expand our footprint into new countries within the region.

What have been the main landmarks for Travelex? Aside from the new market launches, there have been a number of truly impressive milestones along the way, including a number of ‘firsts’. Without listing them all, I would have to say that we are extremely proud to have operations in every major international airport in the four countries where we currently operate. Airports can be difficult environments in which to operate, but we thrive on the challenge and have built some very strong relationships with our respective airport partners. More recently, we were the first in the Middle East to provide a foreign exchange ATM, dispensing up to four



Graham Flannery

different currencies. Last year we launched Travelex Money Transfer, our first own-brand money transfer service allowing customers to make cash-tobank transfers. Over the past twelve months we have increased the size of our team based in the region in order to support our growth plans. This year we also opened our most innovative store yet in Dubai International’s new A380-dedicated Concourse A.

Explain briefly the services that Travelex provides to customers in the region? As the leading global specialist in foreign currency, Travelex brings over 35 years of expertise in helping customers send and spend their money around the world. Our primary product continues to be foreign currency banknotes, providing inbound and outbound travellers with the travel money they need, when they need it. We have also launched websites in all four of our Middle East businesses allowing customers to pre-order foreign currency. We also offer Travelex Money Transfer – our own cash-to-bank remittance service. We currently provide this service

to a wide range of countries including key corridors such as India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Indonesia. Travelex was the first company to operate full self-service foreign exchange functionality in the region. This self-service functionality includes both foreign currency ATMs and also our innovative “Cash to Cash” machines accepting various note currencies and dispensing local.

Are there any new services that Travelex plans to introduce in the Arab markets in the near future? Although currently only in UAE, we have plans to roll out our ATM and Cash to Cash machines in Qatar, Oman and Bahrain very soon. With huge migrant populations, we see remittance as a key growth area and are confident that we can grow our market share considerably over the next three years. Travelex introduces its TMT customers to a loyalty programme when signing up, with the benefit of every fifth transaction being ‘free of charge’. This loyalty programme has been successfully

implemented in Bahrain and is planned to be implemented in other countries, where possible, in the near future.

In the UK, Travelex has achieved notable success with its arts sponsorship of organisations such as the National Theatre. Does Travelex plan to do something similar in any Arab country? As a global business, we recognise the need for us to give back and support the communities in which we operate. We conducted the inaugural Travelex Oman Tourism Ambassador Awards in 2012, supported by the Ministry of Tourism. The awards were designed to recognise and reward individuals and businesses who are contributing to the growth of Oman’s flourishing tourism industry and were met with overwhelming support. As such, we have decided to make them an annual event and look forward to the 2013 event later in the year. Elsewhere, we sponsor numerous sporting and cultural events and also run an annual cricket tournament in continued page 6


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Bahrain, helping to foster relations in the vibrant expat community as well as engaging in charitable activities within local communities.

Looking ahead, what do you see as the emerging opportunities for your industry in the future with the development of new technologies? The online channel continues to grow globally, as people become increasingly comfortable with technology and take advantage of the ability to combine both value and convenience. In some of our more mature markets, online travel money orders can represent up to one third of our business. We hope to develop these sites further to add additional products and services as well as making them fully transactional. Connected to that is the mobile channel, which will continue to grow as smartphone technology becomes the norm for many. This is an area we would

like to explore further allowing people to manage their currency on the go. Self-service functionality is becoming increasingly popular and already we have seen strong year on year growth. The convenience of ATMs appeals to both business and leisure travellers alike. As the Middle East market matures, we believe the ATM channel will be a key area of growth.

Is there any final message that you would like to leave with our readers? Just to reiterate that as a company we are totally committed to developing both our product portfolio and footprint within the Middle East. While there have been some challenging times in recent years, the future for the region is incredibly bright and we look forward to playing our part in contributing to what is a thriving and dynamic part of the world to live in.

Travelex is a member of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce

CONTACT Graham Flannery can be contacted at:


Saudi Railways Expansion: Contracts Gather Momentum By Ben Cowling and Henry Clarke, Clyde & Co

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is arguably the world’s most active rail market, with significant heavy rail and metro developments. This article surveys the current state of various railway expansion projects in Saudi Arabia in the light of many recently passed and imminent bid deadlines. North South Railway The North South Railway is the largest railway construction project in the world. The 1,418km line runs from Riyadh to Haditha (near the border with Jordan) and various lines will allow freight to travel from Al Jalamid in the phosphate belt in the north to Al Azbirah in the bauxite belt in the centre of the country and then eastwards to the processing and port facilities at Raz Az Zwar. Due to its strategic economic importance, the North South Railway has been given priority over other projects. It is intended that the planned phosphate and bauxite mining projects in the northern region of the country will make Saudi Arabia one of the top global mineral exporters. The railway will also carry an estimated two million passengers every year. Work is ongoing on the line. The 576km segment connecting Az Zabirah (Al Beitha) to Ras Al-Khair has been constructed by the Saudi Binladin Group in collaboration with two German firms. Other sections of the project include the 440km section from Az Zabirah (Al-Beitha) junction to the middle of the Al Nafude desert completed by a joint venture of the China Railway 18th Bureau and Al Suwaiket Co. The 750km section, from the middle of Al Nafude to Al Jalamid and Al Haditha was completed by a consortium of Barclay Mowlem of Australia, Mitsui of Japan, and Al Rashed

of Saudi Arabia. The section between Riyadh and Al Qassim was scheduled to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2013. With much track already complete, the European train control system (ETCS) is being installed and tested by Thales and the Saudi Binladin Group. It is likely to be the longest route to adopt the ETCS to date. ElectroMotive Diesel Inc will provide the diesel locomotives which will pull 668 wagons provided by China’s South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry Corporation.

Landbridge project With an estimated investment of $7 billion, the Landbridge Project will be the first rail link between the Red Sea and the Gulf. It involves construction of 950km of new track between Riyadh and Jeddah, another 115km track between Dammam and Jubail and the upgrading of the existing link between Riyadh and Dammam. The project is intended to maximise surface transport potential between the Red Sea coast to the Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia. Amongst other functions the link will facilitate the transport of cargo to and from King Abdul Aziz Port in Dammam and Jeddah Islamic Port. This will create a useful link for raw materials and manufactured goods between Europe and North America on one side and East and South Asia on the other.

The railway was originally planned to be developed through a public-private partnership and on 21 April 2008 the Tarabot consortium, consisting of seven Saudi companies and Asciano of Australia, was selected as the preferred bidder for the 50-year BOT concession. Disagreements over financial terms caused the project to be put on hold. In October 2011, the government proceeded with construction of the line as a state-funded project financed by the Public Investment Fund and in January 2013, US contractors Fluor Corporation, obtained the $72 million, seven year project management contract. Designers Italferr were selected in July 2013 and are due to complete the design in the second quarter of 2014. Four consortia are bidding to develop the project: Agility PWC Logistics Consortium, Mada Consortium, Saudi Binladin Consortium and the Tarabot Consortium. Contractors are expected to be selected in the second quarter of 2014.

Haramain High Speed Rail The most developed project in the Kingdom is the Mecca to Medina line (now known as the Haramain HSR), a high speed railway project managed by the Scott Wilson Group. The civil works were completed by the Al Rajhi Alliance (which includes the Mada Group, Bouygues, Al Arrab Contracting, Arup and the China Railway Engineering Corp) and work on the four stations,



Jeddah Metro

engineering aspects and rolling stock is underway. The engineering design is by Foster & Partners and Buro Happold and Siemens is supplying ETCS equipment for the project. The Madinah and Makkah stations are being constructed by the Saudi Binladin Group whilst the Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City stations are being constructed by Saudi Oger. The rolling stock will be provided by the Al Shoula Consortium (consisting of the Al Shoula, Al Rosan, ADIF, Cobra, Consultrans, Copasa, Dimetronic, Imathia, Inabensa, Indra, Ineco, OHL, RENFE and Talgo businesses) and operations and maintenance for 12 years after completion will be undertaken by Indra and the Al Shoula Spanish- Saudi consortium.

Saudi-Bahrain Railway Bridge In July 2013 the Saudi and Bahraini governments announced five firms were studying the possibility of constructing a railway bridge connecting the Saudi railway network to Bahrain, parallel to the existing King Fahd Causeway. It is projected to cost $10 billion and the scheduled completion date is 2018. The Saudi railway network will also link into Qatar via a new causeway and into the UAE as part of the GCC railway plan.

Riyadh Metro The $23 billion Riyadh metro involves the development of six lines (red, blue, orange, yellow, green, purple), 176km of track, 85 stations (5 interchange, 4 iconic – including Zaha Hadad’s design in the new Financial District), 25 park and rides, linked bus routes and six maintenance depots. The system is to have an initial capacity of 1.4 million journeys per day, rising to 3.6 million. Three consortia have been selected to develop these lines:


BACS - Bechtel, Vinci, Siemens, AECOM, CCC, Almabani General Contractors - won Line 1 (Blue, $6.811 billion) and Line 2 (Red, $3 billion)

l Ar-riyadh New Mobility - Ansaldo

STS, Bombardier, Impreglio, Nesma, Hyder, Worley Parsons, IDOM, Larson and Toubro – won Line 3 (Orange, $5.931 billion) l

Fast Riyadh Metro Alliance - FCC, Alstom, Samsung, Freyssinet, Strukton, Setec, Typsa - won Line 4 (Yellow, $3.060 billion), Line 5 (Green, $2.662 billion) and Line 6 (Purple, $2.167 billion)

Project managers have also been appointed for the six lines - Parsons, Elgin and Systra have been awarded lines 1-3 whilst Louis Berger and Hill International have been awarded lines 4-6.

Mecca Mass Transit Scheme The Mecca Mass Transit scheme will be run by the Mecca Mass Rail Transit Company. The first line opened in 2010 after construction by China Railway Construction Corp and its subcontractors, apparently with China Railway Construction Corp suffering loss due to variations to the works ordered by the employer. A further four lines are to be built and Parsons Brinckerhoff was appointed in summer 2013 as the project management consultant office. The initial plans are for the construction of 88 stations and more than 180km of track. In early May 2013, the Jordanian Arab Centre for Engineering Studies (ACES) won the contract for the geotechnical and material work for the rail project for Line C. In December 2013 an invitation to bid is expected for the design contracts for each lines. Construction is expected to begin in 2015 and finish in 2023.

The Jeddah Metro project is a planned 180km, three line railway running across the city. Jeddah Metro Company was set up in March 2013 as a joint venture of the Jeddah Municipality and the Jeddah Urban Development Company to implement the project. The company is looking to work with companies that can ensure the metro is fully integrated with other forms of transport such as overland rail lines and bus networks within the city of Jeddah. The project will have three lines - Orange (67km, 22 stations), Blue (24km, 17 stations) and Green Line (17km, 7 stations). The French firm Egis Projects has been working with the authorities on the early designs for the project. Consultants are preparing prequalification documents for three different packages covering architecture and designs, pre-project management and project management roles. The deadline for the submission of prequalification bids was set as late June 2013. The detail of a fourth package, which covers engineering works is understood to be under discussion. In June 2013 three consortia were in the running centred on the following businesses: CH2M HILL (US) with engineering and design consultancy firm W S Atkins (UK); Qatar-based EC Harris, Serco (UK) and Network Rail Consulting (UK); and Parsons Brinckerhoff (US). Bids for the main contractor roles on the three lines are expected to be invited imminently at the time of writing.

CONTACT For further information Contact Ben Cowling in Riyadh Email: ben.cowling@

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Strengthening Ties between UK and Dubai Courts By Shiraz Sethi, Associate, Dispute Resolution, Stephenson Harwood Middle East LLP and Khurram Khan, Associate, Middle East, SJ Berwin (MENA) LLP

On 23 January 2013 the Dubai International Finance Centre Courts (DIFC Courts) and the English Commercial Court of the Queen’s Bench Division, England and Wales (Commercial Court) signed a memorandum of guidance (the Memorandum) to clarify the current regime regarding reciprocal enforceability of judgments. With Dubai and the DIFC widely recognised as the commercial centre of the Middle East, the Memorandum is an important step forward for the DIFC Courts, highlighting their attractiveness to businesses and investors wishing to strengthen trade and investment ties with the Emirate. Mark Beer, Registrar at the DIFC Courts, commented: “ With business ever more global, it is vital that the commercial courts work closely together. Effective courts protect businesses, and as business connects around the world, so

must the institutions which support it. Bilateral trade between the UAE and the UK is targeted to reach AED70 billion by 2015, and this collaboration, between two of the leading commercial courts in the world, underpins that economic development.” This article examines the rationale behind the Memorandum, its guiding principles and the likely impact the Memorandum will have on the future of the DIFC Courts.

DIFC Courts The DIFC Courts form part of the UAE legal infrastructure, acting as an independent common law judiciary in the DIFC (Dubai’s offshore jurisdiction). The DIFC Courts govern civil and commercial disputes connected to the DIFC financial district, or in respect of which the parties have agreed that the DIFC Courts have jurisdiction. This latter “opt in” jurisdictional ground was introduced in 2012 as a way to enable all contracting parties to include DIFC Courts jurisdiction clauses in their agreements and thus avail adjudication there, irrespective of whether they have any connection with the DIFC Courts. The DIFC Courts, since their creation in 2004, have taken significant steps to promote themselves as a global hub for commercial dispute resolution. Operating in English, they have a judicial panel of internationally renowned civil and commercial judges and follow procedural rules which are closely modelled on the long–established English Civil Procedure Rules. For these and other reasons (e.g. costs advantages, limited rights of appeal, experienced and established counsel available in the region) the DIFC Courts are fast becoming an attractive alternative to regional onshore courts for international commercial dispute resolution.

Memorandum of Guidance Prior to the Memorandum, there existed some uncertainty surrounding the enforcement procedure between the UK and the UAE, resulting from the absence of a bilateral enforcement treaty and further exacerbated through a lack of guidance and monitoring of enforcement decisions by the courts. The Memorandum addresses this uncertainty through explaining and clarifying the existing legal framework for enforcing foreign monetary judgments between the UK and UAE. Although the Memorandum is not legally binding, it is intended to demonstrate the courts’ cooperation and mutual understanding of their respective laws and judicial processes as well as a desire to ensure a straightforward, certain enforcement process.

Requirements for Enforcement Under the Memorandum The Memorandum provides that a monetary judgment of either the DIFC Courts or the Commercial Court will be enforceable by the other court if: 1. it is final and conclusive (a judgment with a right of appeal may still be final and conclusive); 2. it is not a judgment that is punitive


in nature (for example, judgments ordering the payment of taxes, fines or penalties might be considered punitive); and 3. the court that issued judgment had jurisdiction to determine the subject matter of the dispute. As the first and second requirements will usually be satisfied for civil and commercial monetary judgments, it is important that the third requirement is established before the enforcement process commences. In addition to the applicable conflict of law rules, the Memorandum provides that the DIFC Courts and the Commercial Court will generally regard the other as having jurisdiction only where the person against whom the judgment was given: 1. was, at the time the proceedings were commenced, present in the jurisdiction; or 2. was the claimant, or counterclaimant, in the proceedings; or 3. submitted to the jurisdiction of that court; or 4. agreed, before commencement, in respect of the subject matter of the proceedings, to submit to the jurisdiction of that court. Once the three requirements above have been established to the satisfaction of the DIFC Courts or the Commercial


Court, the judgment may then only be challenged on limited grounds, including: 1. where the judgment was obtained by fraud; 2. where the judgment is contrary to the public policy of the jurisdiction in which it is being enforced; and 3. where the proceedings were conducted in a manner which the DIFC Courts regard as contrary to the principles of natural justice. The Memorandum does not allow for the judgment to be re-examined on its merits (i.e. on the ground of error of fact or law), which no doubt will provide comfort to claimants and judgment creditors.

Procedure for Enforcement under the Memorandum The Memorandum provides that in order to enforce a judgment either in the DIFC Courts or the Commercial Court, the following steps must be taken: 1. Issuance of Claim Form – The claim form must provide a concise statement of the nature of the claim and amount of the judgment debt. A certified copy of the judgment must be exhibited to the claim form. This can be obtained by applying (without notice) to the applicable court and continued page 14


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exhibiting a copy of the judgment to be certified. 2. Service of Claim Form – The procedure differs depending on the court where enforcement is being sought: a. Enforcing a DIFC judgment in the Commercial Court - Where the judgment debtor is outside the UK, the claimant must apply for permission to serve the claim out of the jurisdiction in accordance with Rules 6.36 and 6.37 and Part 23 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998. The application should be supported by a witness statement: i. exhibiting a certified copy of the DIFC judgment; ii. stating that paragraph 3.1(10) of Practice Direction 6B applied (that the claim is made to enforce a DIFC Court judgment); iii. stating that the claimant believes that the claim has a reasonable prospect of success; iv. stating the defendant’s address if known; and v. clearly bringing to the court’s attention any matter which, if the defendant were represented, the defendant would wish the court to be aware of. This includes any matters which may undermine the claimant’s application. b. Enforcing a UK judgment in the DIFC Courts – Under Rule 9.52 of the Rules of the DIFC Courts 2011, there is no requirement to obtain the permission of the DIFC Courts before serving proceedings outside the DIFC. However, it remains open to the defendant to challenge the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts. 3. Failure to respond to service – If following service, the defendant fails to respond to the claim, the claimant is entitled to obtain judgment in default (under Part 13 of the DIFC Courts Rules 2011 in the DIFC Courts or under Part 12 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 in the Commercial Court).

Obtaining a judgment in default in the Commercial Court will, however, allow the defendant to challenge the jurisdiction of the Commercial Court.

4. Particulars of Claim – If the defendant acknowledges service, the claimant must file and serve Particulars of Claim, setting out a concise statement of the facts relied upon in support of the claim and including a statement that the court that made the judgment had the required jurisdiction.

Final Comment

5. Enforcement – If the claim is successful, the judgment creditor will be entitled to use a variety of procedures of the DIFC Court/ Commercial Court. These include:

Further, the Memorandum represents a significant step forward for the DIFC Courts. By strengthening their connection with the Commercial Court, which is widely regarded as the world leader in commercial dispute resolution, the DIFC Courts can continue to build international trade and investment ties between Dubai and the UK.

a) third party debt orders; b) charging orders; c) orders for possession of land; d) orders requiring judgment debtors to provide information about their assets; e) orders appointing enforcement officers to seize and sell the judgment debtor’s goods; f) orders appointing receivers; g) orders for committal for contempt of court; and

The Memorandum serves to reassure businesses and investors in the UK that a defined procedure is now in place by which judgments from the Commercial Court can be enforced in the jurisdiction where the assets are located.

This view has been echoed by Mr Justice Cooke, head of the Commercial Court, who has said: “It [the memorandum] was agreed in order to facilitate commerce between the UK and an important trading partner with whom UK companies carry out substantial business. It is also an example of the tradition of the Commercial Court in assisting other commercial courts which apply the Common Law and to spread the influence of the Common Law.”

h) orders relating to insolvency procedures.

Unresolved Issues Regarding Onshore Judgments Since signing the Memorandum, speculation has arisen as to whether it intended to create a new mechanism by which Commercial Court judgments can be enforced in onshore Dubai (i.e. within the Emirate but outside of the DIFC) by obtaining a DIFC Court judgment. The current procedure to obtain enforcement in onshore Dubai requires the claimant to apply to the UAE Courts using Law No. 16 of 2011 to have their judgment recognised as a UAE Court judgment. Provided certain administrative steps are followed, judgments will be enforced without further review.


The theory that obtaining a DIFC Court judgment will allow immediate enforcement in onshore Dubai under Law No. 16 of 2011 is not apparent and will remain speculative until tested.

Khurram Khan Associate, Middle East SJ Berwin (MENA) LLP Tel: +971 4 313 1724 Email: khurram.khan@sjberwin. com

Shiraz Sethi Associate Stephenson Harwood Middle East LLP Tel: +971 4 386 2105 Email:

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UAE draft Commercial Companies Law: towards an international standard By Mark A Dorff and Eon de Quelen, Brown Rudnick

Winds of change are sweeping through the business law environment in the United Arab Emirates. A few months ago, the Federal National Council finally approved the draft Commercial Companies Law (CCL) after an unprecedented 28 sessions of debate. The CCL is still in draft form but currently no significant amendments are expected before it is due to be enacted during 2014. The official objective of the CCL is to modernise and instill investor confidence in the regulatory regime governing companies doing business in the UAE. However, will the CCL modernise the business law regime towards an “international standard” corporate law regime or will it simply be an extension of the existing one?

Towards an “international standard” corporate law regime? The CCL will both enhance existing rules and introduce new ones similar to those found in business law regimes around the world, to an extent. Existing rules being enhanced by the CCL include, notably, the strengthening of the corporate governance framework

for public joint stock companies (see Articles 6 et seq. of the CCL). In addition, directors, managers and auditors will also be made more accountable. Powers to scrutinise companies and ensure that they adhere to international auditing practices will increase. Moreover, harsher penalties will be awarded for offences such as misrepresentation of a company’s financial position and illegal distributions of profits. New rules will also be introduced under the CCL. The new concept of “social responsibility”, which exists in many other legal jurisdictions, will soon become law in the UAE (see Article 2). “Inspection Committees” will be allowed to “inspect” companies (see Article 333) and shareholders holding no less than 10% of the share capital will be allowed to request such inspections (see Article 335). New rules covering employees’ incentive share schemes (see Article 226) and prohibition against financial assistance (see Article 222) will also be introduced. Limited liability companies will no longer be subject to the minimum capital requirement (AED 150,000 in Abu Dhabi, AED 300,000 in Dubai) at incorporation (see Article 76). Given the favourable tax regime in the UAE, the more “business friendly” corporate legal framework should make it easier for small businesses to start-up. Collectively, the new rules and the

enhancements to the existing rules under the CCL seem likely to improve the business law regime in the UAE and such international standardisation of shareholder corporate legal protections should provide foreign investors with some welcome increased peace of mind. The fundamental framework and features of the existing business law regime are generally maintained by the new law. The issue of foreign ownership of companies in the UAE remains unresolved. The controversial rule requiring companies to be at least 51% owned by UAE nationals remains (see Article 10). Foreign investors must continue to rely on one of the existing legal structures if they wish to achieve majority or complete ownership. These include setting up operations in one of the UAE’s many free zones (which allow for 100% foreign ownership of companies) or the establishment of a branch or representative office of a foreign company (instead of a subsidiary). However, it is widely believed


that this will be addressed in a much anticipated draft Investment Law. In the same way, boards of directors of public joint stock companies must still be majority Emirati (see Article 151). Some might therefore say that some features of the CCL do not fit with the “modernisation” efforts announced.

Conclusion The reforms under the CCL may not cut deep enough, mainly due to national security interest considerations. However, the CCL should be viewed in a wider context of concurrent and complimentary legal reforms being undertaken in the UAE. A new Competition Law has been enacted. A draft Bankruptcy Law will be enacted and a draft Investment Law is anticipated. The aforementioned laws, once implemented, together could create a platform which may enable the UAE to move further towards an “international standard” business regulatory


environment. The winds of change will continue to sweep through the UAE but whoever triumphs in the ongoing debate between protecting national security interests and business promotion interests will determine just how hard and in which direction the “modernising” winds of change will blow. Brown Rudnick LLP is a member of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce.

CONTACTS Mark A Dorf Partner Corporate Email: Eon de Quelen, Associate Corporate Email: edequelen@brownrudnick. com


But how well do you know your business partners?

,QDGLJLWDODJHZKHUHELOOLRQVFKDQJHKDQGVHYHU\GD\DQGÀQDQFLDOGHDOVDUHWUDQVDFWHGZLWK little more than an email, it’s crucial to know WHO your business partners really are.

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Buyer Beware: Due Diligence is Critical Before Conducting Business in the Middle East By Zafar I. Anjum, CFE, CIS, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime), MBCI

What may seem like gold in the international business arena could quickly turn to rust if the vetting of all the parties involved isn’t properly conducted. Here is a case in point: A Western investor was interested in purchasing a major jewellery operation headquartered in Dubai. The business had painted a rosy picture of itself on paper as one of the region’s most profitable companies. But an intensive due diligence investigation conducted by a Dubai-based professional background screening company told another story. The company was, in fact, in the midst of liquidation proceedings, a major factor not previously disclosed to the potential buyer. The company’s principals were involved in several bankruptcy cases and the company had been issued warnings by local regulatory agencies concerning a host of collusive business activities. These discoveries would have been nearly impossible to uncover using conventional Internet-based search methods. If not for the efforts of the offshore screening firm, the buyer stood to lose his entire investment. It has become increasingly easy for organizations to open business channels worldwide. The Middle East, particularly the Gulf region, is an area of increasing influence, with countries like Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates becoming inviting markets, enticing Western-based businesses with strong currencies, reduced barriers to entry and lucrative opportunities. Such opportunities, however, can also open the doors to scammers who prey

on organizations – as well as those who take part in corruption, organized crime, terrorist financing or money laundering. Further, a misunderstanding of local laws can lead to unenforceable contracts that can blindside a foreign-based operation.

Managing Risk is Smart Business For companies involved in global dealings, it is imperative to have a comprehensive risk management program that incorporates international background investigations, preferably conducted by a screening company highly familiar with the specific laws, jurisdictions, business cultures and terrain of the countries in which the potential business is being conducted. Such extensive screening requires a “boots on the ground” team to ensure that no stone is left unturned. Unfortunately, most Westernbased investigations firms lack the wherewithal to properly conduct overseas searches. And when it comes to the Middle East – where a vast majority of jurisdictions lack the technology that makes online record searches globally obtainable – proper vetting of individuals, companies and governing bodies can only be achieved through in-person interviews, access to local records and discussions with direct, informed sources.

Levelling the Playing Field Expert, off-shore screening companies can access hard-copy records that aren’t found on the Web, have the ability to locate local sources that can aid in the investigation, and are armed with a familiarity of the area and an understanding of the culture to facilitate their investigations. And while foreign investigative companies know their terrain, they’re also highly educated in the local laws that govern business transactions, which they combine with their knowledge of the UK Bribery Act, FCPA regulations, anti-money laundering laws and other anti-corruption regulations. Used as part of a comprehensive risk management program, a thorough and professional offshore screening operation that provides due diligence services will reduce business, legal and reputation risks when seeking partnerships in unfamiliar international markets.

CONTACTS Zafar I. Anjum, CFE, CIS, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime), MBCI

Group Chief Executive Officer Corporate Research and Investigations LLC “CRI Group” Level 33, 25 Canada Square, London E14 5LQ United Kingdom Phone: +44 207 038 8023 Cell: +44 7588 454959 Email:


Expatriate Healthcare in the Arab World By James Henson, Health Matters

In the ever increasing globalisation and industrialisation of the world economy many UK companies are looking to the Middle East and the Arab world in particular for new business opportunities. This brings new potential risks and issues that many companies have not had to deal with before. Hospital in Abu Dhabi

is widely available and free at the point of access. The UK private medical insurance has been developed to work in tandem with the NHS to plug the gaps and enhance the service by offering choice from whom, where and when you get your treatment. The NHS will still be your port of call for primary healthcare, accident and emergency as well as management of chronic and long term conditions. To a certain extent this is taken for granted by many people as the norm.

One of the first things that employers need to investigate before they do business in other parts of the world is how well their employees are going to be looked after – this means, the health and wellbeing of their expatriate employees and their family members. This is particularly relevant if you have employees or are looking to have employees based in the Arab world. The levels of healthcare provision vary greatly from country to country and region to region, also there are differing healthcare requirements for foreign nationals in different countries. Many Arab countries have legislation in

place to govern how state healthcare is provided to non-nationals. Generally, there is an insistence on the compulsory purchasing of locally provided healthcare or cover from an international health insurer. This is to protect the local populations and to make sure that adequate provision is in place for foreign nationals. I want to discuss the ramifications and how this can and will impact upon your business and your duty of care to your employees. Your employees will be used to the NHS and probably are familiar with private medical insurance in the UK. The NHS

However, the UK is quite unique in the way that it funds healthcare for nationals when you compare it to other places. Each person gets access to a General Practitioner for free and they act as the gatekeeper to any other treatment either on the NHS or in the private sector. This will not be the case outside of the UK. Most Arab countries make it compulsory or highly desirable that you have private healthcare. This is to cover all aspects of medical care from primary care (GPs, midwives and therapists), secondary care (general hospital care) and tertiary care (specialist care units such as cancer and heart). Your employees and their family members will be expected to be able to cover the cost for these via insurance (dependant on which country you are in) or by credit card. Just like in the UK, your expat employees will have to see a General Practitioner initially but this would potentially be in one of the private hospitals. The



Hospital in Dubai

member would be liable to pay for these services so you need to decide what sort of plan you provide for them. International private medical insurance schemes benefits vary from being fully comprehensive which will include full cover for hospitalisation, consultations, therapies, psychiatric, primary care, child birth and wellbeing benefits such as health assessments, screening / monitoring programmes, routine dental and optical cover. There will be potential for some routine monitoring of long term and chronic illnesses. The next level down would cover primary and secondary care (GPs, hospitals, consultants and therapists) but not the extra wellness and wellbeing benefits. If these are included, monetary or benefit restrictions may be imposed. You can go for a basic cover which may have a number of monetary and benefit limitations and as such they will not include primary care or wellness / wellbeing services. Your employees will then be liable to any of these additional costs. However, generally there is cover for consultants, therapists and hospital stays. The scheme benefits and rules will vary from insurer to insurer. Other options that you need to take into account are what you do with the medical underwriting of the scheme. This is all to do with the member’s pre-existing conditions and medical history. Individual international private medical insurance schemes will require the member to be fully underwritten or have a two-year moratorium. Both of these will exclude pre-existing conditions. Company international private medical insurance has these options but you can

also have medical history disregarded. This will mean that the member’s preexisting conditions would be considered for benefit dependant on the rules and benefits of the plan and insurer chosen.

there is room for improvement within the system as there is a relatively low local life expectancy of 75.4 years and the infant mortality rate is more than twice the average rate of Western Europe.

I would recommend that you look at ways to get medical history disregarded so that you have the point of mind that your employees and families will not have this barrier when they need to claim. The last thing that you want to have is an issue with one of your expat employee’s family that will not be covered by your insurance provider. This can also be seen as a good recruitment and retention tool as your employees will know that there are no restrictions on their health cover.

Saudi Arabia has a network of approximately 2,000 medical facilities, which include dedicated cancer centres, rehabilitation units and a world-class eye specialist hospital.

Virtually all schemes will include repatriation cover if required. Repatriation will not necessarily take you home but to the closest facility that can look after you. This could be a neighbouring country or your own country of residence. I asked one of our partner insurers, AXA PPP Healthcare International, to provide some examples of what you need to be aware of. Kate Lovell, Overseas Partner Marketing Manager at AXA PPP Healthcare International, gave a brief resume of the expat healthcare requirements in the following countries; Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Adu Dhabi and the UAE.

Saudi Arabia The Ministry of Health (MOH) is responsible for and oversees both the public and private health sectors. The quality and facilities of the hospitals within the kingdom are high and they are staffed largely by expatriates. However,

There are an estimated 7.5 million expatriates residing in Saudi Arabia and health insurance became compulsory for them in 2005 and recently it was also made compulsory for their families to have health insurance too in order for them to be able to live there.

Kuwait The health system in Kuwait is of a high standard and the medical facilities are clean and well equipped. There can be overcrowding in state hospitals with long waiting lists. Foreign nationals have also been prevented from using state medical facilities in the mornings, unless it is for emergencies. It is not compulsory for expatriates to take out a Private Medical Insurance Policy for visa requirements, but due to the overcrowding at state hospitals and the desire of the government to reduce the number of foreign workers residing in the country in future years, it is strongly recommended that they consider a health insurance policy. If they are planning to leave the country in the near future, then it is worthwhile looking at a worldwide insurance policy that allows portability of cover, enabling employees to take their medical history and level of benefits with them wherever continued page 24


from page 23

3. Children of UAE national women married to non-UAE nationals;

they move to. Local domestic products usually don’t allow this and they would have to move to another insurer should they leave the country.

4. Arrivals in the Emirate on tourist visa; 5. Other categories that are exempted by a decision of the Authority, after approval of the Executive Council.

UAE Standards of healthcare within the UAE are considerably high due to increased government spending. There were plans to make healthcare insurance compulsory within the Emirates, but so far this hasn’t materialised. Possibly this is due to the fact that the government fears that it could alienate the expatriates planning to move there or currently residing there which make up 80 % of the population. Expats are currently free to buy their own health insurance, but they have to apply for and purchase a government health card from the Health Ministry. This provides them access to the state system in an emergency and they will need to have their health card with them at all times. Those with private cover may not be allowed to receive elective treatment within some government hospitals. Basically if you have PMI then you are expected to use a private hospital. The UAE are aiming to make the emirates a centre for Health Tourism. They are working with both the Harvard Medical School and the John Hopkins Medical School to make this happen. It is also worth noting that certain prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines are not permitted within the UAE. The Health Ministry states, “Individuals may bring medicine into the country for their personal use. Up to three months’ supply of a prescription item can be bought into the country by a visitor and 12 months’ supply by a resident if they can produce a doctor’s letter or a copy of the original prescription. Narcotic items should not be brought into the country. In exceptional cases, they can be brought in, but only with prior permission from the director of medicine and pharmacy control who will assess the individual case. These guidelines relate to medicines brought in by an individual through an airport or border crossing and medicines arriving by post.” Visitors should contact the Ministry of Health drug control department to check whether their medication is on

the controlled list, and needs prior permission for importation. Medicines are expensive and a medical consultation could cost around £40 per session, with night calls rising to £70. Surgical procedure costs are in line with UK private treatment costs and it is therefore recommended that a comprehensive PMI policy is purchased to avoid large unexpected medical bills. Large medical insurers also have access to extensive direct settlement networks for both out-patient and in-patient treatment saving the expense for the customer and this is definitely worth considering this when purchasing health insurance within the UAE. As of January 2006, all residents of Abu Dhabi have been required to take out compulsory health insurance. All health insurers have to be registered with and regulated by the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi (HAAD). Each insurance product also has to be HAAD compliant and cover certain medical conditions.

As you can see there is a trend of seeking to oblige all non-nationals to take out health insurance but not all on a compulsory basis. It is advisable that any company preparing to send employees to any Arab country should make the proper investigations into and get advice on the requirements of the particular country where they going to be based. I have only listed a few examples and there are many more with vastly different internal circumstances or political situations effecting how they deal with their own population as well as the expatriate community. To sum up, a company needs to look at the local healthcare provision and expatriate requirements. Once this has been completed and understood the next step is to see what plan and underwriting suits the company’s budget and expatriate employees and make sure it is in place before the employee leaves the UK. This way you know that from the moment that they set foot on the ground in the new host country their health is being looked after in the best possible way.

Each employer is expected to provide health insurance for their employees and their families. However, it is worth ensuring that this is part of the employment/sponsorship package as it is a legal visa requirement for non-UAE nationals and a residence permit will not be issued unless you have a HAAD compliant insurance policy. People who are exempt from compulsory insurance are: 1. Employees of establishments and companies in the Emirate and having their own medical facilities, which are licensed by the authority to provide medical treatment services, provided that they are exempted by a decision of the Authority; 2. Non-UAE national women married to UAE nationals;

CONTACT James Henson Health Matters




World Hi-Tech Forum 2013 focus Turkey and the BITE Industry Awards The British Institute of Technology and e-Commerce gathered together over 200 distinguished guests at its regular World Hi-Tech Forum event in London on the 13 November. This year’s Principal guest was His Excellency the Turkish Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Ünal Çeviköz. The event focused on Turkey and the opportunities for Anglo-Turkish investment and projects. energy generation is a major advantage in the initial capital cost of nuclear power over other renewable energies that tend to be located away from demand and are intermittent producers of energy. Renewable energy sources other than nuclear require considerable investment in new storage facilities in order to make use of the renewable energy when it is being generated.

Hosted by Lord Erroll, the chancellor of BITE, there were two panel discussions Aerospace, Defence & Security and also a Nuclear Energy Panel. Speaking on the Aerospace, Defence and Security Panel, Ambassador Çeviköz said that an industrial zone of over 5 million square meters is being created in Ankara for both local and overseas companies in the aviation and space industry. A Space and Satellite Integration Centre is also being established to produce observation and communications satellites. Lord Erroll, chancellor of the British Institute of Technology & Ecommerce (BITE), noted that “In a time of great change in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Turkey has re‐emerged both as a regional power and a bridge between Europe and Asia. According to the OECD, Turkey is expected to be the fastest growing economy of the OECD members up to 2017, with an annual average growth rate of 5.2 percent.” The Nuclear Energy Panel recognised the potential contribution civil nuclear power could make to the drive for alternative energy solutions to reduce glasshouse gas emissions. Currently Turkey is just over 80% dependent on hydrocarbon based fuels while the UK is just under 70% dependent on these fossil fuels. The speakers were able to present the major contribution civil nuclear power will make to the Turkish energy supply given Turkeys recent launch of

The Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in the UK, His Excellency Ünal Çeviköz (left) with the winner of The Outstanding Business Leadership award, Remzi Gur, General Director of the Gurmen Group.

8 new civil reactors producing the 450 billion kWh Turkey required by 2023 to support the growing economy. Due to the on-of nature of the commitment to civil nuclear energy there are growing skills gaps in the sector and this is being addressed by the partnership between National Nuclear Laboratories of the UK and the British Institute of Technology and e-Commerce’s joint venture the Global Nuclear Skills Institute that will provide training facilities in the application of nuclear energy to contribute more fully to the Kyoto protocol and the associate reduction in the emission greenhouse gases. The panel also discussed the innovative approaches to modularisation of nuclear energy facilities for neighbourhood requirements and scaled in capacity as demand grows. This localisation of

The Forum was followed by the BITE Annual Awards dinner. The BITE and Rolls Royce Championing of Technology award went to Dr Robert Smith of BAE Systems for his pioneering work and leadership on the Eurofighter Typhoon. The Outstanding Business Leadership award in association with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Entrepreneurship, and was presented to Remzi Gur, General Director of the Gurmen Group, clothing specialists based in Turkey. The BITE and Fujitsu Inspiring Creativity Award for the best dissertation project rewards students who have successfully completed a project which further advances applications of technology. It was presented by executive vice president of Fujitsu Laboratories Europe, Dr Adel Rouz to Ms Mirusa Adampulle for the software design of an expert system for ECG arrhythmia recognition which could help cardiologists diagnose heart conditions and also be used in GPs surgeries and in hospitals.

When only the world’s finest so About SocksFox Established in 2004, SocksFox specialise in top quality clothing brands including Falke, Hanro, Zimmerli, Burlington & Dore Dore which have international appeal. SocksFox sells extensively to the UK, Europe, USA, Australia, Japan and the Middle East Their sales have continued to grow despite adverse global economic conditions, underpinned by brand quality and close attention to personal service. Despite difficult economic conditions in many of its main national marketplaces, SocksFox saw strong growth in 2012, particularly in the second half with a 20% increase over 2012, with 2013 continuing to demonstrate continued growth. SocksFox is a family run leading online retailer

We specialise in top quality brands and these seem to have weathered the difficult economic conditions well. I am pleased to say there are always people out there who value quality goods and clothes in particular. Our sales have been helped by our decision to offer free worldwide delivery.

of only the finest quality socks, underwear and clothing for men, women and children based in Lincolnshire in the UK. At SocksFox we aim to offer our customers a shopping experience where you can buy the top quality brands that you know and trust, whilst offering you a level of individual customer service and product knowledge that only a smaller, highly specialised company can provide In 2004 we found that it really was very difficult to buy Falke socks unless you were lucky enough to live in one of the major world cities. This became the catalyst for the creation of SocksFox as we sought to take Falke socks to a wider audience. Since then we have continued to add new brands of premium quality socks, underwear, tights

and clothing to our range. The Brands we offer are selected as they use only the best quality materials, are beautifully constructed to create the most comfortable and fit for purpose garments possible. You only have to think of the world’s finest motor cars and watches: Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, Rolex, Omega, TAG Heuer - world icons of stunning design and craftsmanship. Perfect illustrations of the levels of detail and quality that German and Swiss designs incorporate whether it’s a car, a watch, socks or underwear. Established for over 100 years brands such as Falke, Hanro & Zimmerli have stood the test of time. Known worldwide for their exceptional socks and underwear made from only the finest materials.

We aim to build our reputation as the international online shop for top quality brand clothes. We already have an increasing and loyal customer base across the world but the pace of the international market means we cannot stand still.

Our key UK sales were strong but we also saw good growth in the Middle East, Japan and Australia. Our international sales stance has certainly been a significant factor in our continued success.

We believe offering free delivery on top of our quality brands will help to keep our customers coming back to buy from us wherever they are.

Managing Director David Nieburg

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Attractions of Investing in Jordan The Kingdom of Jordan has identified several priority sectors in its economy that offer great potential for foreign investment, says Jordan Investment Board.

The factors that most commonly attract investors have been identified by the JIB as follows:


100% foreign ownership available under the terms of the Investment Promotion Law;

Its membership of the World Trade Organisation since 2000;


The possession of a legal framework that encourages investment;

The fact that an estimated 117 nationalities in the industrial and service sectors now own companies in Jordan;


No restrictions on capital transfers and repatriation of profits;


The 55 bilateral investment treaties that Jordan has signed;


The growing number of FTAs that Jordan has concluded since 1997;





between Jordanians and nonJordanians;

51.3% of shares of publicly listed companies on the Amman Stock Exchange are owned by nonJordanian nationals; The existence of equal treatment


27 double taxation agreements in place with partner countries;


The opportunity to obtain a visa upon entry at the airport.

Energy and Renewable Energy Positioned as a gateway to the Middle East, Jordan is emerging as an ideal location for investment in renewable energy and clean technology in the region. Jordan’s value proposition for potential investors in this sector is considerable and includes a number of strategic and practical reasons to start investments in renewable energy. The country’s geographical location in the region makes it a natural hub for companies that want to gain a foothold in the emerging renewable energy and clean technology market in the Middle East. In addition, Jordan offers an emerging enabling environment that provides a business-friendly foundation for renewable energy and clean technology companies. The country has developed an Energy Master Plan, which mandates that 10% of its energy by 2020 should come from renewable resources (1200MW from wind, 600MW from solar and 20-30MW from energy conservation) to offset the increasing demand for energy, which is expected to increase by an average rate of 7% annually. Renewable energy will also help in reducing the energy bill which is a burden on national GDP amounting to around 20% in 2011. The following factors make renewable energy in Jordan attractive: l

Its location within the world solar belt; 300-320 days of full sunshine, with solar irradiation levels of 2600Kwh/ m2;



Wind speeds reach an average of 7 meters/sec in several locations;


40 billion tons of oil shale, 14 billion tons of silica, and 2% of the world’s uranium reserves;


Among the highest engineers per capita ratios in the world; 1 engineer per 83 inhabitants in 2020;


Its commitment to governance and pro-investment Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Law;


Ground-breaking energy strategy with estimated investments of $1.4 to $2.1 billion in the sector;


Advanced electrical distribution system, with over 99% of its population with access to the grid;


Grid connectivity to MENA and Europe regions.

Business Opportunities There are notable business opportunities available in the following areas in this sector:


Tourism Sector

Industrial Sector

Tourism is a fast growing industry that involves many economic and social sectors. Jordan has managed to capitalize on its strategic central location in the area, its reputation for stability and security, along with its pleasant climate, to establish a reputation for being an attractive and safe tourist destination.

The country’s industrial sector is considered to be one of the most important sectors of the economy. In order to reach full potential for economic and social development, the Jordanian government has focused on developing the industrial sector, and it provides the majority of new jobs and produces much of the creativity and innovation that fuels economic progress.

Jordan has a competitive advantage in that it is the home to three major attractions of international interest: Petra, which is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World; the Dead Sea, which is the lowest point on earth; and its unique religious sites. The country’s tourism sector contributed around 14% of GDP in 2012 when the total number of tourist arrivals was 6,314,250 and receipts of $2.45 billion in that year. An efficient roads, airports and ports network connects Jordan to the region and to the world. Business Opportunities


Photovoltaic cells

Business opportunities in the tourism sector include:


Wind turbines and PV invertors


New hotels


Participant in turnkey projects


Boutique hotels


Desalination projects.


Countryside cottages (Ajloun)


Theme parks and entertainment cities


Spas and Resorts



The overall contribution of the industrial sector of the GDP for the year 2012 was about 22%. Industrial exports constituted 94.2% of the total national exports in that year.

ICT and Business Processes Outsourcing l

Total Information and Communications Technology (ICT) revenues in 2012 was estimated at $2bn;


Jordan’s total ICT exports in 2012 reached $235mn where 85% of these exports were destined for Arab countries;


Top export markets are : Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE, and the USA;


Large pool of labour of ICT professionals: employment in the sector increased to 16,000 in 2012; continued page 30


from page 29 l

Jordan has an ICT tailored educational system from elementary to postgraduate level.


Equity funds (VC) to target growing IT start-ups in Jordan and the region (seed, growth and beyond);

Jordan has developed one of the leading ICT sectors in the region, with more than 400 active companies, directly employing about 16,000 employees and overall contributing about 84,000 jobs to the economy. The Information Technology Association of Jordan, Int@j, has announced that the ICT sector is also considered to be the fastest growing sector in the country. It is now the third largest contributor to the Kingdom’s GDP with almost 14%. The ICT field represents an opportunity for Jordan to increase its competitive advantage over other countries in the region.


A location for Customer Call Centres;


BPO/ITO Service Park - an export hub for back office business and IT services;

Jordan offers all the essential elements needed for a global firm to establish a regional hub for IT operations. The country’s strength lies in its human capital which is one of the most highly qualified and competitive workforce in the region. Business Opportunities Business opportunities can be found in the following areas: l

Design studios for gaming and animation and localisation of content;

costs in Jordan are fraction the cost of that in Europe and the US. Business Opportunities l

Medical centres/hospitals with fivestar services


Specialised medical centres


E-learning Arabised content;


Medical tourism facilitators


Software Technology Park;


Medical colleges


Financial sector IT solutions.


Health Spas.

Medical Sector

Agriculture Sector

Jordan was ranked first in the Middle East and fifth in the world as a medical tourism destination of choice according to a World Bank report. One of Jordan’s primary assets in the medical services sector is its workforce, as the country boasts one of the highest physicians to population ratios in the world at 25.5 per 10,000, most of whom are board certified in the United States and the UK.

In 2012, the agriculture sector contributed 2.9% of the Jordan’s GDP and employed 3.1% of the labour force. Total exports in 2012 reached JD625,000,000, a big portion of which were exported to Arab countries; mainly the UAE, Kuwait, Syria, and Qatar. Also in 2012 the total amount of investment in the sector benefiting from the Investment Promotion Law (IPL) reached JD24,664,000.

Jordan enjoys a competitive cost structure, which offers medical service companies a low-risk platform to serve the wider MENA market, as well as providing them with significant research and laboratory capabilities. Healthcare

Numerous crop opportunities are available during the off-season in Europe for high quality exports: strawberries, seedless table grapes, galia melons, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, okra, green

Medical complex at Jordan University of Science & Technology


beans, snow/snap peas, cut flowers and dates. The agriculture sector achieved a high growth rate owing to the expansion of irrigated farm areas. The modern production technology, the provision of a favourable environment for investments in the sector, the establishment of commercial-scale livestock projects and the absence of major obstacles for Jordanian exports to traditional and foreign markets all play a major role in increasing agriculture production. Jordan is self-sufficient in a number of agriculture products such as olive oil but imports many basic items such as cereals, dairy products, sugar, red meat and vegetables. Business Opportunities l

Marketing firms focusing on promoting agricultural products;


Research and development for enhancing the quality of food and beverage products;


Extraction of flavours and fragrances from local plants;


Development of post-harvest activities for fruit and vegetables, as well as working towards adopting an orchard to market approach that aggregates

production and establishes economical packing, storage and marketing functions; l

Fruit concentrate production;


Cottage farming, livestock production, and processing, and export of fresh fruits and vegetables;


Organic farming for the production of vegetables, as well as medical and aromatic plants production for local and overseas markets;


Production of animal feed from farm by-products;


Utilisation of date palm by-products in the manufacturing of containers and other products.

Jordan Investment Board Potential investors can obtain assistance from the Jordan Investment Board, an official body established in 1995 to provide investment related information and that highlights the valuable investment opportunities in Jordan’s most vibrant sectors. JIB acts as a liaison between investors and public and private sectors to match make potential partnerships. The JIB operates a One Stop Shop to provide registration and licensing services within 10 days.

CONTACT Jordan Investment Board Tel: +962 65608400 Fax: +962 65608427



UK Residential Property Tax Update - Pushing the Envelope Chris Connors and Ray Smith of Clyde & Co LLP provide an update on the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings

In the last issue of Economic Focus, Clyde & Co provided an overview on a number of recent changes concerning how UK residential property (worth more than £2m) is taxed. The article explained that the changes were part of a threepronged approach by the UK Government to reduce tax avoidance by “enveloping” (owning) residential properties in corporate structures. These changes included a new 15% rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) on certain purchases, and a new 28% capital gains tax charge on gains made on certain disposals. This article focuses on the third main change, the introduction of an entirely new tax, the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (or “ATED”). A brief analysis of the ATED was covered in the previous issue. This article provides an update on the ATED. It discusses some of the practical issues which have occurred following its introduction, and warns of possible traps for the unwary.

ATED - A Brief History Before considering some of the new practical issues, it is worth briefly reminding ourselves what the ATED is and why it has been introduced. Formerly called the Annual Residential Property Tax (or “ARPT”), the ATED was introduced by the Finance Act 2013 as part of the “three pronged” attack on tax avoidance described above. While the SDLT change applies to the acquisition of properties and the capital gains tax change applies to eventual disposals,

the ATED sits between the two, as an on-going yearly charge, and applies for as long as the property is held by certain persons. The charge itself is in respect of high value (£2m plus) residential properties which are ‘enveloped’, i.e. owned by a ‘non-natural person’ rather than directly by an individual. The typical example of a non-natural person would be a company. The perceived tax avoidance that the change was intended to stop was the avoidance of SDLT by selling property “indirectly”, by enveloping the property in an offshore company and then selling the shares in the company (rather than the property directly) to the new buyer. In general, no UK stamp duty would apply to the purchase of shares in the offshore company (which owned the property), whereas if the buyer had purchased the property directly he would have paid SDLT at a rate up to 7% (as applicable since 22 March 2012). The ATED is an annual charge, fixed by reference to the value of the property, as follows: Value of Property

ATED 2013/14

£2,000,001 to £5,000,000


£5,000,001 to £10,000,000


Engaging an Agent Many taxpayers will wish to engage an agent (such as their solicitors or company accountant) to complete the ATED returns on their behalf, particularly if the taxpayer is not based in the UK, or is not familiar with the UK tax system. For most other taxes an agent can be appointed by presenting a Form 64-8 (an agent authority form) to HMRC, which contains details of the agent and the taxes for which they are to be granted authority (such as corporation tax, VAT and payroll taxes). The ATED is, however, not covered by Form 64-8. HMRC instead requires an agent to be authorised by written letter. The letter should: l

Specifically state that X is authorised to act as agent in relation to the ATED and any correspondence relating to it;


State that any authority granted in relation to the ATED is in addition to any previous authorities which may have been granted to X (for example, the agent may also be engaged as the taxpayer’s VAT agent);


Give a contact at the agent for HMRC (including contact details and a reference number for the agent where applicable; and


Be signed by an authorised signatory of the taxpayer and printed on letter headed paper.

£10,000,001 to £20,000,000 £70,000 £20,000,001 and over


Procedurally, there are two elements to the ATED which a taxpayer will need to consider – filing a return with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and making the relevant tax payment.

Practical Issues The timetable for introduction of the ATED has been a swift one. This is unsurprising, as the tax is part of antiavoidance legislation which has been passed through the UK Parliament rapidly to close a perceived loophole. Consequently, HMRC has had to prepare itself for the task of administering an entirely new tax over a short period. This has led to some teething problems. For example, although HMRC has published some guidance on the ATED, as the tax and procedures are new the guidance is still being developed and there are many procedural and technical issues which are not covered by the guidance. Consequently, it is often necessary to contact HMRC for formal guidance on these issues. The division of HMRC which currently has responsibility for ATED is the Stamp Office. Although the ATED is not strictly a stamp tax, the ATED rules are based heavily on the new higher rate (15%) SDLT rules concerning high value (£2m plus) residential properties and so it is logical for the Stamp Office to also be responsible for the ATED. However, from our recent discussions and correspondence with the Stamp Office on a number of different ATED issues, it is clear that there are still very few technical officers within the Stamp Office who have been trained on the new ATED rules, and they are “running fast” internally to try catch up with the flood of new returns and related enquiries. It is therefore important to have good relations with the key contacts within the Stamp Office who are responsible for the ATED.

The First Returns One of the other areas of the ATED process which has encountered teething problems is the administration of the first set of returns. Ordinarily, a taxpayer will have to file an ATED return by 30 April each year (one for each qualifying property) and make a payment at the same time. For the first year of the ATED (2013-14) transitional provisions were introduced which required the first ATED tax return to be filed by 1 October (for the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014) and for any tax due to be paid no later than 31 October 2013. In order to make a



payment, the taxpayer or agent needed a 15 digit reference number, which was issued by HMRC and used to attribute monies correctly. This payment reference number should have been issued by HMRC on receipt of the ATED return. However, we are aware of a few instances where the payment reference numbers have not been issued by the payment deadline date. We understand that in those cases HMRC then provided the ATED payment reference numbers by early November. Obviously, it would be unfair in those cases, where the taxpayer’s payment has been delayed, as a result of HMRC not supplying the relevant reference numbers in time, for HMRC to levy late payment interest and penalty charges and we understand that HMRC is considering this issue internally.

When is a ‘Dwelling’ not a ‘Dwelling’? One question which has arisen repeatedly is whether a property is a ‘dwelling’ for the purposes of the ATED. This is important as a taxpayer may assume that a property is not a dwelling, only to be surprised by news that it does indeed fall within the legislative definition (and therefore the charge). A prime example of this is uninhabitable properties, which are heavily damaged and awaiting redevelopment or sale. It is not unheard of for a property to be acquired in a state of disrepair (or possibly fall into one after acquisition), particularly where it is to be held as a long-term investment. The question is, whether this takes the property out of the charge and the answer is: “it depends”! This area can be fairly technical, but to give an indication of the care which needs to be applied, please refer to Box 1, which contains a number of practical examples we have encountered.

Making Payment The ATED is a yearly charge, payable in full at the beginning of each ATED period. To illustrate how this may be important, the next ATED return is due on 30 April 2014 – but what if, on 29 April, the taxpayer knows that there will be an exchange of sale contracts and completion of the sale of a property (valued at £22,000,000) on 31 May 2014

and that they will, therefore, no longer own the property for the great majority of the ATED period? While the taxpayer will be able to claim relief for the period from 1 June 2014 to 31 March 2015, they will have to first make a full payment of £140,000 and file a return for full liability. This will be followed by an amended return and subsequent repayment from HMRC – there is currently no option/facility to pay a pro-rated amount to HMRC in the first instance.

Conclusion As a new tax, the ATED has a number of unique features and potential traps for the unwary. This article has mentioned just a few of these issues. There are many other difficult areas too, such as: how to value the dwelling; the treatment of new dwellings to be acquired in the future; and the application of the various new exemptions. Given the many areas of uncertainty, and the fact that HMRC is clearly still developing its analysis in a number of key areas, we strongly recommend that taxpayers take professional advice on how the new ATED rules will apply to their own particular facts.

CONTACTS Ray Smith Email: Christopher Connors Email: Christopher.Connors@ Tel: +44 207 876 5000




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Consolidated Contractors Company


First Among Arab Construction Companies Economic Focus interviews Mr Antoine Mattar, Director, Consolidated Contractors Group SAL, which ranks as the largest construction company in the Middle East and among the top 20 in the world.

Could you briefly outline the origins of the company? Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) is a group of leading international contracting companies in the Middle East. Today’s group is the offspring of a partnership which brought together the late Kamel Abdul Rahman, an economist, Hasib Sabbagh and Said Khoury, who were engineers, who in 1952 founded the enterprise. Before the partnership these graduates of the American University of Beirut pursued successful independent careers in construction. Kamel Abdul Rahman, together with the late Emile Bustani, was a founding partner of the CAT construction company and was pursuing projects for the Iraq Petroleum Company in Palestine. Mr Sabbagh had set up his own construction firm in Haifa and secured building contracts in the area while Mr Khoury owned an engineering office in Safad, his home town. The individual professional experience which each one brought into the partnership contributed to the successful combination that later enabled the CCC Group to become a professional consolidated force in the construction industry. In 1948, the turmoil created by the partition and occupation of Palestine deprived the future partners of their homes and livelihood. As was the case with many Palestinians during their diaspora, all three were forced to pursue new careers outside their home country. The three settled temporarily in Lebanon and renewed their respective careers. After the occupation of Palestine, the conduit through which Iraq had exported

Antoine Mattar

its petroleum at Haifa could no longer be used. As a result, the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) chose to develop their main terminals in Tripoli, Lebanon and in Banias, Syria. Initially, Mr Sabbagh and Mr Khoury were engaged as contractors to work on the IPC Kulaiat Airport Project in Tripoli. Their work on this project brought them to the attention of Suleiman Franjieh, later the President of the Lebanese Republic in 1970, who invited them to cooperate together in the tender for the construction of a pipe yard in Homs, Syria, as a subcontractor to Bechtel, part of the IPC Kirkuk to Banias Pipeline Project. With the addition of two more partners, Messrs Khamis and Hbous, the five partners were successful in being awarded the contract. Acting on a request by Bechtel, two more members, Kamel Abdul Rahman, who had withdrawn from CAT, and Tawfic Haroun, were added to the partnership. The name Consolidated Contractors Company was chosen to describe this

combination of seven different forces. CCC was subsequently awarded several additional subcontracts by Bechtel in relation to the same project. At the successful conclusion of the work by CCC on the project, Messrs Abdul Rahman, Sabbagh and Khoury decided to stay together and incorporated under the name CCC in 1952.

CCC describes itself as “one of the first Arab construction companies’’. What are the landmarks in the company’s growth and expansion since its foundation in 1952? CCC’s expansion around the globe has been accompanied by gradual growth in our technical capabilities over the decades.

In the 1950s the partners decided to investigate new markets and were successful in Aden, Yemen. The contracts were mainly in the areas of buildings and heavy civil works with CCC sometimes executing various projects for different clients simultaneously. This phase was a critical juncture in the evolution of CCC. Formerly, the company had only been exposed to familiar surroundings in which they easily related to the social and cultural environment. In Aden, CCC encountered a new and difficult market where the harsh physical conditions and distant location presented a challenge to the young partnership. During the decade, CCC confronted the variety of challenges successfully and several different developments emerged: 1. The diversification of CCC’s technological base to encompass a variety of civil and mechanical engineering expertise. 2. Development of the capacity to operate in different countries. 3. Strengthening of relationships with the leading contractors operating in the region. 4. Development of a cohesive management and labour force capable of executing tasks on time and within planned estimates. By the end of the decade, it was clear that CCC had come of age and was ready to take-off. In the 1960s we started to take major road projects, civil works for power stations, and simple oil & gas facilities. The diversification of operations necessitated the change from the direct personal control previously exercised by the partners to one which required the development of central control, management structure and corporate planning. Central control was accomplished through development of a central headquarters in the Beirut office. An incentive sharing programme established early in the life of CCC, a great emphasis on internal career development and close attention to the personal relations with the staff engendered the development of a cohesive, dependable and loyal management. Corporate planning became more sophisticated because of


the steady expansion of the operations. By the 1960s it was clear that CCC had come of age and was ready to take-off. In the 1970s in addition to the pipeline projects, we expanded into network projects, power & desalination plants, and marine works. This decade also marked our entry into the offshore market by the establishment of NPCC, Abu Dhabi, and CCC Underwater Engineering in UAE. The dramatic increase in oil prices in 1973 and the resulting flow of funds into the economies of the Arab oil-producing countries, fuelled the development of projects on a scale never before seen in the area. CCC continued its development and embarked upon much more complicated projects. CCC became firmly entrenched throughout the Middle East and entered a far reaching process of consolidation with affiliates and subsidiaries throughout the region. As CCC continued to grow, the diversity of projects successfully completed by CCC increased dramatically. In 1975, the tragic events taking place in Lebanon confronted the company with many operational problems; the civil war which broke out made central management from Beirut impossible. In 1976, management reluctantly chose to temporarily move its headquarters and staff to Athens, Greece while maintaining their offices in Lebanon. This was mainly due to the fact that the main office’s vital links with its far flung operations could no longer stand any more disruptions to their operations. Athens proved to be a suitable place because of its proximity to the Middle East and the network of financial, transportation and communications services available. Another major charge took place with the move of the head office to Athens. Kamel Abdul Rahman went into retirement and sold his shares to his two partners. In the 1980s we executed our first dam project and also expanded into design & build. During this period we acquired Morganti in the USA and ACWA in the UK.


top 100 international companies. In particular, 1982 was an exceptional year in which projects totalling $1,061 million were awarded to CCC which placed the company 27th in the ranking of international contractors. The 1990s were mainly dedicated to achieving mega oil & gas projects and marked the company’s expansion into Africa. During this period we established SICON Oil & Gas in Italy and National Steel Fabrication Company (NSF) in Egypt. The decade marked a significant upturn in the company’s sales and revenue. In contrast to construction opportunities of the eighties boom years, the nineties offered different opportunities throughout the Gulf, in the aftermath of the Kuwait / Iraq War in 1990. Over the next 10 years, CCC’s sales turnover escalated. Complementary to its sales figures, CCC ranked 21st in the 1999 Top 225 International Contracting Survey. Into the 21st century, we continued with our geographical expansion into Australia and Papua New Guinea

At CCC, we see our success as largely attributed to our ability to think ahead about going into new markets, new services, new partnerships, and new enhancements to our internal practices.

During this decade, even though most of the large major international contractors had entered the Arab construction market, CCC was able to compete and was catapulted into the continued page 38


from page 37

with major awards, accompanied by an increase in systemisation and automation globally. Mega projects continue to dominate this period.

The Landmark Building, Abu Dhabi

This period was accompanied by the formalisation of two very important soft complementary core culture programmes at CCC of which we are very proud. l

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme (November 2007)


The Sustainability Programme (2011).

CCC’s Corporate Social Responsibility philosophy originated in the founders’ strong belief that the company had an obligation towards its shareholders, employees, clients, partners, subcontractors and the wider society. CCC does not exist solely to make profit, but rather to improve the livelihoods of more than 110,000 families of its employees as well as to serve the societies and the countries where CCC has an operational presence. CCC’s CSR policy, guided by the company’s strong and ethical family values and traditions, is an integral part of its Corporate Vision which ensures that its business values and behaviour are aligned with its Mission Statement; Company Core Values, Guiding Principles and Code of Practice; Health, Safety and Environment Procedures; and Human Resources Procedures. As part of its sustainability initiatives, the company is committed to sustainable construction. Sustainability means meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs by the depletion of the world’s resources. Sustainable construction aims to apply this principle to the industry by providing ways of building that use less virgin material and consume less energy, cause less pollution and less waste, but still provide the benefits to humanity that construction projects have brought us throughout history. Over the years CCC has been implementing new sustainable construction techniques within the company’s wide variety of traditional and green building projects as we believe that the added benefit and value of such initiatives are immeasurable and will provide all our stakeholders with long term and sustainable operations.

Could you highlight some of the flagship projects that CCC has worked on in the MENA countries over the years?

mosque at one end and creates two cantilevered minarets up to 90m high. l

The Landmark Building, Abu Dhabi, completed in 2012, is the second highest tower in Abu Dhabi reaching a height of 324m.

CCC has undertaken a large number of flagship projects in the MENA countries and some recent examples include:


The Ras Laffan Port, Qatar, completed in 2012, is the second largest manmade harbour in the world.


The recently awarded Riyadh Metro, Saudi Arabia. The largest ever contract by value awarded to CCC at $9 billion; CCC share is $3 billion.


The Pearl GTL Project, Qatar, completed in 2011, is the largest GTL Project in the world.


The Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, Doha, Qatar, project in progress. The spiral form of the building defines the


The largest oxygen plant built in one place and one phase, producing 28,800 tons of oxygen/day.



The largest process water treatment and re-use system with a capacity of 45,000 m3/day.


The largest steam generation system in the industry.


The largest hydrocracking capacity in one location.


The Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University for Women, Site Works Infrastructure & Utility Plant, Saudi Arabia, completed in 2011, is the largest women-only university in the world and also the first green campus in Saudi Arabia.


The Qatargas 3 & 4 LNG Plant - Trains 6 & 7, Qatar, completed in 2010. The largest LNG trains in the world at 7.82 MTPA. With the completion of these two trains, we can proudly announce that CCC is the most experienced worldwide LNG construction contractor, having achieved the completion of 17 LNG trains with a total capacity of 82 MTPA, equivalent to 30% of all LNG facilities in the world.


The largest Ethylene Cracker in the world, Borouge Ethylene Cracker 2 (1.4 MM ton/year) in Abu Dhabi, completed in 2010.


The Oman India Fertiliser Plant, Oman, completed in 2005. One of the largest grass root fertiliser plants in the world (3,500 MT/day of ammonia and 5,060 MT/day of urea).


The Dubai Mall, Dubai, completed in 2009.


The largest shopping mall in the world based on total area, the project comprises a 515,000 m2 mall area, about the size of 50 soccer fields; a 550,000 m2 car parking area; and a district cooling plant building of 42,000 refrigeration tons.


The Dubai Mall boasts the Dubai Aquarium, a 270 degree walk through tunnel and the world’s largest viewing window.


The Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre, an education ecology and marine life experience centre, clinched the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest acrylic panel, measuring 32.88 meters wide x 8.3 m high x 750 mm thick, weighing 245,614 kg, with the capacity to

hold 10 million litres (2.64 million gallons) of water which makes it the second largest tank in the world. The aquarium has more than 33,000 living animals including over 400 sharks and rays combined. l

The Khalifa Sports Hall-Sports Dome, Doha, Qatar, completed in 2005.


The world’s largest air-conditioned indoor facility of its kind under an architecturally unique edifice consisting of two semi-circular shells, the dome is a landmark development for Qatar and the region. The Sports Hall was used for the 2006 Doha Asian Games.

What is the philosophy that drives the company forward to add ‘’something of lasting value’’ to the communities and environments where CCC work? The philosophy that drives CCC forward starts from the founders’ strong belief that the company has an obligation towards its shareholders, employees, clients, partners, subcontractors and society. This philosophy is guided by the company’s strong and ethical family values and traditions that are an integral part of its Corporate Vision: CCC and Workforce Welfare CCC demonstrates its commitment to the family by promoting diversity, equal opportunities, ensuring safe and secure working environment for its workforce as well as improving the quality of life of its employees and their families within their local communities. CCC and Community Involvement In the footsteps of its founders, CCC believes that business should be conducted in a manner which benefits the local and global communities where the company operates. CCC has stamped its humanitarian and philanthropic footprint in support of social development, health and education in every country or area where it has operated or done business with. CCC and the Environment CCC is committed to carrying out its activities in an environment-friendly manner by reducing the environmental


impact and improving environmental efficiency wherever possible. CCC and Ethics & Integrity CCC believes that its reputation and integrity are the basis and drive behind its capability and ability to conduct and sustain business around the globe. CCC’s CSR Contributions to the Communities Over the years, CCC has participated and contributed generously to the countries and communities in which it has operated and passed through. Contributions have been in the form of monitory donations and in-kind participation.

What exactly does CCC mean by a ‘culture of innovation’ and how does the company encourage staff to be innovative? At CCC, we see our success as largely attributed to our ability to think ahead about going into new markets, new services, new partnerships, and new enhancements to our internal practices. This innovative thinking is shared by our staff and management. They are all encouraged to always think about how to make CCC better and offer improved services to our clients. It is important to stress that innovation is a process that doesn’t stop at creating a new idea. The process has a life cycle that starts with setting up the right environment to generate ideas, ideas selection, putting the right team and resources, launching a change management plan, measuring the value, gathering lessons learned and knowledge sharing corporate-wide. With the rapid expansion of the business and rising competition, the company needed to establish formal processes to encourage innovation. About seven years ago, CCC launched a corporatewide Knowledge Management initiative with dedicated staff reporting to a top executive. The KM department was established not only to gather lessons learned and share knowledge across the organisation, but also to create the environment for CCC staff to share innovative ideas and promote their implementation. We invested in building “Fanous”- the knowledge management portal- for CCC continued page 40


from page 39

suppliers and streamline information exchange. Fanous, our Knowledge Management Portal, mentioned above, is another example of internal collaboration to share knowledge and drive innovation.Â

The Ras Laffan Port, Qatar

staff to share their ideas, collaborate on solving problems, connect with subject matter experts, and learn from other mistakes. The goal is to improve on current practices through innovative thinking (Wisdom of the Crowds).


To reinforce this collaborative behaviour, top contributors are rewarded by featuring them in the KM monthly newsletter. The KM team leveraged the CoP meetings to gather innovative ideas. These ideas vary greatly in nature: some are related to new services to be offered by CCC, some are related to core business processes, other ideas relate to digital testing, machine automation, use of renewable energy, and new concrete technologies.


A dedicated team with proper funding, and more importantly, strong senior management leadership, work on putting into practice the innovative ideas of interest to ensure that they are embedded in our operation worldwide.

How have new technologies transformed the way that CCC carries out its business? The introduction of new technologies and the adoption of new tools have always been a source of expanded productivity. Some recent innovations are:


Virtual design and construction (VDC) technologies changed the ways that we prepare our construction estimates, prepare shop drawings, and coordinate activities along the supply chain from design, procurement to construction and commissioning. It is now a standard process in CCC to build 3D model for the design, extract quantities and do a constructability analysis. Even if clients don’t require it, we do it as part of our productivity improvement measures. Geospatial technologies like GPS, GIS, and laser scanning are becoming standard technologies in our projects. Our equipment fleet is equipped with vehicle tracking system to ensure safe operation by the operators, manage fuel consumption, and look into operation improvement through time studies based on data collected from these devices. Machine automation technologies is making easier for operators to control their work quality like compaction and pavement works where machine sensors are helping to conform compaction results. Laser scanning is another technology that is helping us to rapidly check installation quality and carry out complex installations. We are leveraging the web for recruitment, tendering, and procurement activities. This allowed us to widen our reach to much more


Technologies like ultrasound sound testing in construction allowed us to replace more hazardous X-ray like technologies. This allowed us to have safer operation and ability to perform construction activities close to testing works.


Advances in concrete technologies have allowed us to achieve new concrete strengths and much faster pouring cycles shortening the construction schedule significantly reaching almost 30-40% time saving.

Looking ahead, what do you see as the coming opportunities for your industry in the Arab countries? Although most of the infrastructure in the oil producing countries in the Arab world has been implemented, there is still a need to maintain this infrastructure. In addition, the growth in the population necessitates expanding the infrastructure such as building metros, highways, hospitals and schools.

CONTACT For further information about CCC see


HLB Hamt is a leader in business incorporation in the UAE with successful formation of business for more than 1000 clients in all types of entities including free zone, offshore and LLC. The firm, established in Dubai in 1999, has grown rapidly and now comprises more than 130 staff in offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Jebel Ali Free Zone, SAIF Zone, Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone, Fujairah and Hamariyah Free Zone.

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n A comfortable and private sitting area where refreshments are available while waiting for onward transportation or to board a flight. The directors of PTS have been in this industry for many years and have a sound knowledge readily imparted to companies wishing to take advantage of the ever growing Iraq reconstruction.

foothold that is important to any new business venture in an area such as this. Our directors are experts in the timing and coordination of your visit, able to plan an itinerary that maximizes your time on the ground and produces the end results you require. PTS is ticketing agent for a large forward thinking airline, and as such, offer industry competitive pricing throughout your entire pre-visit planning stages. PTS works hard to ensure our clients have the best available resources allowing them to operate at maximum capacity from the moment they enter the country. PTS can travel to your company headquarters and, through liaison with company trip planners, provide a bespoke itinerary that saves you time and expense. PTS is happy to receive enquiries from companies wishing to travel to southern Iraq for the first time or existing companies wishing to expand.

We are able to take requests from our client, work out exactly what they need to visit Iraq with the intention of future investment, and provide a full itinerary that enables our client to visit any area of importance. PTS is continually looking into other areas of potential service, and would welcome contact from interested companies wishing to reduce the feeling of uncertainty but gain the

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British Economic Survey The British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey for the 3rd Quarter 2013 received more than 7,400 business responses. The respondents cover the entire United Kingdom, and were surveyed by postal and online questionnaires over the period 26 August to 16 September 2013.

In the manufacturing sector 1,908 firms, employing approximately 200,000 people, responded. 1,328 (70%) of manufacturing respondents were exporters. In the service sector 5,548 businesses with approximately 1,000,000 employees responded. Of the service sector participants, 2,552 (46%) were exporters. While the majority of respondents employ fewer than 500 people, the sample included many large businesses.






Total responses are weighted according to the actual distribution of companies by size within each region and nation, and each region and nation is similarly weighted within the national aggregates to ensure that the sample provides a truly representative picture of UK commerce and industry. The survey is the largest and most representative of its kind in the UK.

summary The Q3 2013 results show further improvement, with manufacturing recording particularly strong progress. For both manufacturing and services, most key balances are stronger than in Q2, and all the critical balances are now stronger than their long-term historical averages. In both sectors, many key balances are higher now than their pre-recession levels in 2007. Several key manufacturing balances and percentages are at all-time highs for our survey: domestic sales, employment and employment expectations, cashflow, turnover confidence and full capacity. But there are some disquieting features. The manufacturing plant &

machinery investment balance, though still positive, fell, and is lower than in 2007, even though the share of firms at full capacity is at a record high. Several key service balances are lower than in 2007: employment expectations, cashflow, investment, and profitability confidence. Both service export balances fell slightly, but they remain at historically high levels. In both sectors, inflation is the biggest area of concern for businesses, and intentions to raise prices strengthened. Overall, the Q3 results show a strengthening recovery, but many risks persist.

Domestic Market All the national domestic balances for orders and sales improved in Q3; they are much stronger now than their long-term historical averages, and are also a little higher than their pre-recession levels in 2007. The manufacturing balance for domestic sales surged 22 points to +38%, an all-time high for our survey, and the manufacturing balance for domestic orders rose sharply by 17 points, to +31%, the best level since Q4 1994. The service sector’s balance for domestic sales rose 12 points, to +32%, the best level since Q2 2007. The service balance for domestic orders rose 12 points to +28%, the best level since Q1 2007.

Export Market The national export balances improved for manufacturing. The service export balances fell slightly, but they remain positive and at historically high levels. In both sectors, the export balances are now much stronger than their long-term historical averages, and are also higher than their pre-recession levels in 2007. The manufacturing export sales balance rose 12 points, to +35%, the best level since Q4 2010. The manufacturing export orders balance increased 11 points, to +33%, also the best level since Q4 2010. The service export sales balance fell two points, to +34%, and the service export orders balance declined one point, to +28%. Both service export balances, however, remain slightly higher than in Q1 2013.

Employment The national employment balances rose in Q3. The manufacturing employment


balance increased 13 points, to +32%, an all-time high for our survey. The manufacturing employment expectations balance rose nine points, to +29%, also an all-time high for our survey. The service employment balance rose five points, to +20%, the best level since Q3 2007. The service employment expectations balance rose four points, to +26%, the best level since Q4 2007. Both service balances are now above their long-term historical averages, but employment expectations are still lower than in their pre-recession levels in 2007.

Investment Most national investment balances rose in Q3, but one manufacturing balance fell; the balance of manufacturing firms planning to increase investment in plant & machinery declined three points, to +20%. Manufacturing intentions to invest in training rose eight points, to +28%, the best level since Q3 2007. The balance of service firms planning to increase investment in plant & machinery rose 10 points, to +17%, the equal-highest level since Q3 2007. Service sector intentions to invest in training rose nine points, to +24%, the equal-best level since Q1 2008. All the investment balances are now above their long-term historical averages, but most are still below their average 2007 pre-recession levels.

Business Confidence The national confidence balances, particularly those for turnover, recorded increases in Q3; all are now stronger than their long-term historical averages, and most are also higher than their average 2007 pre-recession levels. The manufacturing turnover confidence


balance surged 15 points, to +66%, an all-time high for this survey. The manufacturing profitability confidence balance increased seven points, to +46%, the best level since Q4 1996. The forward-looking confidence balance for service sector turnover rose 12 points to +58%, the best level since Q3 2007. The confidence balance for service sector profitability increased five points, to +39%, also the best level since Q3 2007.

Capacity Utilisation and Cashflow The percentage of manufacturing firms operating at full capacity rose 10 points, to 46% in Q3, the joint-highest level on record. In services, the share of firms operating at full capacity increased two points, to 40%, the highest level since Q1 2008. The Q3 cashflow balances rose markedly in both sectors. The manufacturing cashflow balance surged 18 points, to +22%, an all-time high for our survey. Services cashflow increased 11 points, to +12%, the best level since Q3 2007.

Prices Intentions to raise prices strengthened in Q3 in both sectors. The balance of manufacturing firms reporting pressure to raise prices increased 15 points, to +27%, the highest since Q4 2012. The balance of service firms expecting to raise prices increased 11 points, to +23%, the highest since Q1 2012.

continued page 56


from page 55

DOMESTIC Orders and Sales


Excluding seasonal variation, domestic sales (domestic orders) over the past 3 months are: Up/Same/Down

The National Perspective

The service sector’s balance for domestic sales rose from +20% in Q2 2013 to +32% in Q3 2013, the best level since Q2 2007. The net balance for service domestic orders rose from +16% in Q2 2013 to +28% in Q3 2013, the joint-highest level since Q1 2007. The service domestic balances are now weaker than the manufacturing balances, for both sales and orders.

All the Q3 2013 national domestic balances show marked increases compared with Q2 2013. The improvement was particularly strong in manufacturing. In both manufacturing and services, all the Q3 home balances are now much stronger than their longterm historical averages. All domestic sales and orders balances are now a little higher than their average 2007 prerecession levels.

The Regional Perspective

The manufacturing sector’s balance for domestic sales surged from +16% in Q2 2013 to +38% in Q3 2013, the best level since our survey started in Q1 1989. The previous all-time high was +37%, seen in Q3 2007. The balance for manufacturers’ domestic orders also increased sharply, from +14% in Q2 2013 to +31% in Q3 2013, the best level since Q4 1994.

The Q3 2013 manufacturing balances for domestic sales were in positive territory in all regions and nations. In the case of manufacturing home orders, we find the same pattern, with all in positive territory in Q3 2013. The weakest Q3 net balances were in Wales for domestic sales, at +26%, and in London for domestic orders, at +11%. At the other

Export Orders and Sales


Excluding seasonal variation, export sales (export orders) over the past 3 months are: Up/Same/Down

extreme, the strongest Q3 manufacturing domestic balances were in the North West for domestic sales, at +40%, and in the East Midlands for domestic orders, at +39%. The Q3 2013 service sector’s net balances for domestic sales were in positive territory in all regions and nations. In the case of service domestic orders, we find the same pattern, with all in positive territory in Q3 2013. the weakest Q3 net balances were in Scotland for domestic sales, at +8%, and in the North East for domestic orders, at +13%. At the other extreme, the strongest Q3 domestic service balances were in the South West for domestic sales, at +48%, and in the South West and Yorkshire & the Humber (both at +35%) for domestics orders.


The National Perspective The Q3 2013 national export balances improved for manufacturing. In the service sector, both export balances fell slightly in Q3 2013, but they remain at historically elevated levels. In both manufacturing and services, all the Q3 export balances are now much stronger than their long-term historical averages. The balances are also higher now than their average 2007 pre-recession levels. The net balance for manufacturing export sales rose from +23% in Q2, to +35% in Q3, the highest level since Q4 2010. The manufacturing balance for export orders increased from +22% in Q2, to +33% in Q3, also the best level since Q4 2010. The service export sales

balance fell by two points in Q3 2013, to +34%. The service export orders balance declined by one point in Q3, to +28%. Both Q3 export balances remain slightly higher than in Q1 2013.

The Regional Perspective The Q3 2013 manufacturing sector’s net balances for export sales were in positive territory in regions and nations. In the case of export orders, we ďŹ nd the same pattern, with all in positive territory in Q3 2013. The weakest Q3 net balances were in Northern Ireland, at +6% for export deliveries, and at +5% for export orders. At the other extreme, the strongest Q3 manufacturing export balances were in the South East, at +71% for export


deliveries, and at +67% for export orders. The Q3 2013 service sector regional balances for export sales were in positive territory for all but one region and nation. In the case of service export orders, nine were in positive territory in Q3 2013, one was at 0%, while one was in negative territory. Comparing service sector export performance across the various regions and nations, the weakest Q3 balances were in the North East, at -8% for export sales, and at -10% for export orders. At the other extreme, the strongest Q3 service balances were in East of England, at +72% for export deliveries, and at +68% for export orders.

employment Q Over the past 3 months your workforce has: Increased/Remained Constant/Decreased


What changes do you expect to your workforce over the next 3 months: Increase/Remain Constant/Decrease

The National Perspective The balance for employment in the manufacturing sector climbed from +19% in Q2 2013 to +32% in the third quarter of 2013, the highest on record. The service sector employment balance also improved, from +15% in Q2 2013 to +20% in Q3 2013. The service balance is now above prerecession levels. The forward-looking employment expectations balance for the manufacturing sector increased to +29% in Q3 2013, from +20% in the previous quarter. The services sector also saw an increase in its employment expectations

balance from +22% in Q2 2013, to +26% in Q3 2013. The results for Q3 suggest ďŹ rms are gearing up to expand their workforces in the near term.

The Regional Perspective In Q3 2013, positive employment balances were recorded for both manufacturing and services in all nine regions of England as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The balance for employment in the manufacturing sector was highest in the North East of England (+45%), followed by the South East (+40%) and Northern

Ireland (+37%). In contrast, London (+6%) recorded the lowest balance for employment in the manufacturing sector. However, London (+45%) did record the highest employment expectations balance. The highest service sector employment balance was recorded in London (+32%), followed by Yorkshire & the Humber (+29%) and the West Midlands (+28%). Scotland recorded the smallest balance (+1%). London (+42%) recorded the highest forward-looking balance.

continued page 58


from page 57

Investment Q

Over the past 3 months, what changes have you made to your investment plans: a) For Plant and Machinery: Revised upwards / Revised downwards / No change b) For Training: Revised upwards / Revised downwards / No change

The National Perspective Despite very strong manufacturing results this quarter the level of investment in the sector was mixed. The balance of manufacturing firms that increased investment in new plant & machinery fell three points to +20%. While this is still one of the highest balances of recent years the fall is a surprise considering the strong increases seen elsewhere in the survey. However, there was a significant rise in the balance of firms who increased investment in training. The balance was up eight points to +28%. This is the highest level since Q3 2007. Both investment indicators in the service sector improved considerably.

The balance of firms that increased investment in plant & machinery rose by 10 points to +17%. For training the balance was up nine points to +24%. Both balances are at their highest levels in recent years. The last time service sector firms level of investment was as high was just prior to the 08/09 recession.

The Regional Perspective In the manufacturing sector, London (-17%) was the only region or nation to return a negative balance for investment in plant & machinery. There were no negative balances for training. London (+5%) also returned the weakest figure for this indicator.

Business Confidence

Q Do you believe that over the next 12 months: a) Turnover will: Improve/Remain the same/ Worsen b) Profitability will: Improve/Remain the same/Worsen

The highest balances for manufacturing in plant & machinery in Q3 were in Northern Ireland (+33%), the North West (+27%), the East Midlands (+25%) and the West Midlands (+25%). For investment in training Northern Ireland (+35%) and the North West (+35%) also returned the highest balances. For the service sector there was only one negative balance for investment indicators. This was found in the Scottish plant & machinery result (-17%). Elsewhere, the balances were strong with the North East (+27%) and the South West (+27%) returning the highest for plant & machinery and London (+35%) returning the highest for training.


The National Perspective All the national confidence balances recorded increases in Q3 2013, with particularly strong increases in the turnover balances. In both manufacturing and services, all the confidence balances are now much stronger than their long-term historical averages. The manufacturing confidence balances, and the turnover service balance, are also a little higher now than their average 2007 pre-recession levels. The profitability confidence balances remain weaker in both sectors than the turnover balances. Confidence that manufacturing turnover will improve in the next 12 months surged from a balance of +51% in Q2 to +66% in Q3, the best level since the QES started in Q1 1989. The previous all-time high was +64%, seen in Q3 1994. Confidence that manufacturing profitability will improve in the next 12 months rose from a

balance of +39% in Q2 to +46% in Q3, the best level since Q4 1996. Confidence that service sector turnover will improve in the next 12 months rose sharply from a balance of +46% in Q2 to +58% in Q3, the best level since Q3 2007. Confidence that service sector profitability will improve in the next 12 months rose from a balance of +34% in Q2 to +39% in Q3, also the best level since Q3 2007.

The Regional Perspective The manufacturing sector’s Q3 2013 net balances for turnover confidence were in positive territory in all regions and nations. In the case of profitability confidence, eleven were in positive territory, while one balance was negative. Comparing manufacturing confidence across the various regions and nations, the weakest Q3 balances were in the Eastern region for turnover


confidence, at +42%, and in Scotland for profitability confidence, at -17%. At the other extreme, the strongest Q3 manufacturing confidence balances were in the South East for turnover, at +79%, and in London for profitability, at +70%. In the service sector, the Q3 2013 balances for turnover confidence were in positive territory in all regions and nations. In the case of profitability confidence, eleven were in positive territory in Q3 2013, while one balance was negative. Comparing service sector confidence across the various regions and nations, the weakest Q3 net balances were in Scotland, at +26% for turnover confidence, and at -15% for profitability confidence. At the other extreme, the strongest Q3 service sector balances were in London for turnover confidence, at +78%, and in Yorkshire & the Humber for profitability confidence, at +55%.

Capacity utilisation and cashFLow Q Are you currently operating: At full capacity/Below full capacity

Q During the last 3 months how has your cashflow changed: Improved/Same/Worsened

CAPACITY UTILISATION The National Perspective Within the manufacturing sector, the proportion of firms stating that they were operating at full capacity rose by ten percentage points from 36% in Q2 2013 to 46% in Q3 2013. This equals the highest figure on record from Q4 2007. Capacity utilisation in the services sector rose from 38% in

Q2 2013 to 40% in Q3 2013, the highest proportion since Q1 2008 (42%).

The Regional Perspective The highest capacity utilisation among firms in the manufacturing sector was recorded in Scotland (82%), followed by the South East of England (52%) and Yorkshire and Humber (46%). The lowest proportion of firms reporting that they were operating at full capacity was recorded in the North West and North

East (29%). Capacity utilisation in the services sector was highest in Wales (50%), followed by Northern Ireland and London (both 46%) and Yorkshire and Humber (44%).

CASHFLOW The National Perspective In the manufacturing sector, the cashflow balance rose sharply in the continued page 60


from page 59

last quarter from +4% in Q2 2013 to +22% in Q3 2013, the highest balance on record. The previous highest was in Q4 2006 (+18%). In the service sector the cashflow balance rose by eleven percentage points, from +1% in Q2 2013 to +12% in Q3 2013, the highest since Q3 2007. This is the third successive quarter that the balance has been in positive

territory, following eight successive quarters of negative balances.

The Regional Perspective In the manufacturing sector, the highest balances were recorded in the South East (41%), followed by London (37%), the North West (32%) and the North East

(30%). In the services sector, the highest cashflow balances were recorded in the South West (29%), followed by Wales (19%), Yorkshire and Humber (18%) and the West Midlands (16%). In contrast, the only negative cashflow balances in manufacturing (-16%) and the service sector (-9%) were recorded in Scotland.

prices Q

Over the next 3 months, do you expect the price of your goods/services to: Increase/Remain the same/Decrease


Is your business currently suffering pressures to raise prices from any of the following: Pay settlements/Raw material prices/Finance costs/Other overheads

The National Perspective There was a significant increase in the prices balance figure in Q3 for both manufacturing and services firms. For manufacturing the price balance was up 15 points to +27%. This is the first increase since Q4 2012, although the figure is consistent with the historical average. Of the factors identified as contributing to price pressures, 55% identified raw materials costs, up eight percentage points on Q2. There was a considerable rise in the percentage of firms that identified pay settlements (up 10 percentage points to 21%). There was a fall in the percentage which identified financial costs (down eight percentage points to 13%) and other overheads (down one percentage point to 40%). For the service sector the prices balance increased from +12% in Q2 to +23% in Q3. While this is the highest figure

since Q1 2012 it is still low by historical standards. As with manufacturing the main factors identified as contributing to price pressures were raw material costs and pay settlements. Raw material costs were up four percentage points to 26% and pay settlements were up five percentage points to 23%. Finance costs fell four percentage points to 16% and other overheads fell by three percentage points to 38%.

The Regional Perspective In the manufacturing sector the East of England (+49%) and London (+44%) had considerably higher price balances than any other region or nation. The next highest were Yorkshire & the Humber (+27%) and the East Midlands (+26%). With the exception of the North East (-1%) all the regions balance figure were positive. Raw material prices were

identified across all regions as the factor contributing mostly to price pressures. The East Midlands figure of 70% was much higher than elsewhere. In the service sector the Scotland price balance rose dramatically to +40%. Elsewhere the figures were consistent with Q2. London (+32%), the East of England (+30%) and Northern Ireland (+30%) were the highest after Scotland. The lowest figure was recorded in the North East (+10%). Raw material costs and other overheads were generally the main reason why firms intended to increase prices.



External Factors

Q Please indicate which of the following factors are more of a concern to your business than 3 months ago: Interest Rates / Exchange Rates / Business Rates / Inflation / Competition / Tax

Manufacturing Manufacturing firms, at the national level, recorded divergent movements in their anxiety levels in Q3. Inflation worries rose from 31% to 35%, and became manufacturers’ biggest area of anxiety; micro firms, at 42%, expressed the biggest concern. Exchange rate worries increased from 27% to 32% and were the second largest anxiety. Small firms (at 47%) expressed the highest concern. Competition worries dropped from 35% to 27%; micro firms (35%) expressed the biggest concern. Interest rates concerns fell from 15% to 11%; micro firms (21%) signalled the highest level. Corporate taxation concerns remained unchanged at 21%;

micro firms, at 29%, signalled the highest level. Business rate worries rose from 17% to 19%; micro firms, at 32%, signalled the highest level.

Services Service sector firms, at the national level, also recorded divergent movements in their anxiety levels in Q3. Inflation worries were unchanged, at 32%, and became the biggest area of anxiety for service firms; medium firms (at 44%) signalled the highest concern. Competition worries fell from 36% to 31%, and were the second biggest area of anxiety for service firms; small service firms (at 36%) signalled the highest level. Corporate taxation worries fell from

24% to 18%; small and micro firms (both at 21%) signalled the highest concern. Business rate worries edged down from 22% to 21%; small firms (26%) signalled the highest level. Exchange rate worries edged up from 14% to 15%; small firms (20%) signalled the highest concern. Interest rates concerns edged up from 15% to 16%; medium firms (19%) signalled the highest level. Service firms are much less concerned than manufacturers over exchange rates, but are more worried over interest rates. Published with the permission of the British Chambers of Commerce, from where the full report may be obtained.


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Business Roundtable with Delegation from Tunisia The Chamber welcomed a senior delegation from Tunisia on the morning of 17 September 2013.

The members of the Tunisian-British Chamber of Commerce were in London to participate in the G8 Deauville Investment Conference that had taken place on the previous day.

Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby, Secretary General and CEO of the ABCC, were aimed at strengthening contacts between the British business community and investors and Tunisia.

The delegation to the Chamber was headed by Mr Hassine Doghri, Chairman of the TBCC and a Board Member of the ABCC.

Welcoming the delegation, Baroness Symons mentioned the challenges facing Tunisia as a country in transition and stated that a key challenge for the country was job creation for the country’s youth, an issue that was of some urgency for all the countries going

The discussions, hosted by Rt Hon Baroness Symons, ABCC Chairman, and

through transition. The discussions focused on how the Chamber can assist Tunisian economic development and foster closer relations with the UK. She mentioned the successful Tunisian businesswomen whose achievements had been recognised with awards at the G8 Deauville Partnership Arab women’s conference held in June.

Mr Hassine Doghri, (centre) Chairman of the TBCC



Rt Hon Baroness Symons (top of the table)

Baroness Symons stressed the importance of training, vocational education and partnerships particularly with Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. Big corporations also had a key role in engaging local participation in supply chains and in labour markets. Discussions concentrated on Tunisia’s priorities and highlighted the significant opportunities opening up for British business in a wide range of commercial activities, especially in those sectors where UK firms have a high reputation for expertise and innovation. Renewable energy, financial and legal services, education and training, healthcare, textiles and retail, were sectors mentioned in this regard. Tourism, healthcare, education, IT, agrobusiness, financial and legal services were all areas where the Tunisian market offered attractive investment potential. Dr Al-Shuaiby told the meeting that the

Chamber was keen to assist companies seeking to extend their business activities in Tunisia. She said that Tunisia had great potential and was now at a point where it was ready to move on and build its economy for the future. Mr Alan Morrison, Head of Commercial Section, British Embassy Tunis, said that his main aim was to encourage more UK firms to go to Tunisia. He highlighted some of Tunisia’s attractions as a market such as its stability and determination to develop a healthy democracy. Mr Steven Schofield, Shell, stated that his company had been active in the Tunisian energy sector since the 1920s and remained confident of the potential of oil, gas and renewables in the country. The country’s fundamentals remained strong despite recent disruptions and the country would once again achieve the growth levels of 6% that it had achieved before the transition.

Mr Hassine Doghri emphasised the positive role of the business community in working to normalise the situation in the country and to establish a stable environment necessary for economic growth. Mr Doghri said that there was a need for more dialogue between Tunisian business and potential investors to achieve better understanding and improve confidence in the market. He believed that the ABCC could play an important strategic role in bringing UK and Tunisian businesses closer together. Tunisian executives needed to be put in touch with the right people in the UK who could contribute most effectively towards the country’s economic development, Mr Doghri stated. The roundtable discussion was part of the Chamber’s continuing series of activities that were aimed at improving co-operation between the UK and Tunisia.


ABCC Sign MoU with Tripoli Chamber of Commerce The Arab British Chamber of Commerce has reached a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Tripoli Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Libya in an initiative designed to foster closer partnership between the two organisations.

The accord was hailed as a ‘’great step forward’’ for deepening British-Libyan business co-operation. The MoU sees the ABCC and the Tripoli Chamber pledging to work closer together to help their respective members take advantage of the new opportunities emerging for business between the UK and Libya. The MoU was formally launched at a reception held at the Arab British Chamber of Commerce premises on the evening of 17 September before an audience of diplomats, senior executives and in the presence of Libya’s Minister of Culture.

Rt Hon Baroness Symons PC, Chairman of the ABCC, hosted the event and opened proceedings by stating how the Chamber was ‘’very pleased’’ to be able to implement an idea that had been in the planning for several months. She said that the MoU had enabled the two chambers to formalise their relationship. Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby stated that conditions were gradually becoming much more favourable for British and Libyan companies to do business together for mutual benefit and prosperity. The MoU was signed on behalf of the

Mr Khalil Masoud Mahfud, Chairman, Tripoli Chamber of Commerce, and Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby, Secretary General & CEO, ABCC

ABCC by Dr Al-Shuaiby and on behalf of Tripoli Chamber of Commerce by Mr Khalil Masoud Mahfud, Chairman of its Board of Directors. “Our agreement comes in a week when the Prime Minister of Libya, HE Mr Ali Zeidan, has been leading a delegation of ministers and senior officials to London with the aim of forging closer links with the UK business community,” Dr AlShuaiby noted. Welcoming the initiative, Rt Hon Lord Trefgarne PC, chairman of the Libyan British Business Council and deputy chairman of the ABCC, described the agreement as a positive step forward. He expressed the hope that more British companies would be looking to the Libyan market to do business in future and that they would soon be taking a trip to Tripoli. Khalil Masoud Mahfud thanked the ABCC for successfully launching the agreement and hailed the long history of friendship enjoyed by the two countries which provided a firm basis for future business. The launch concluded with the formal presentation of a gift from Tripoli Chamber of Commerce to Dr Al-Shuaiby, which she accepted on behalf of the ABCC. The agreement begins a new chapter in co-operation between the two chambers and should benefit their joint memberships.



Rt Hon Baroness Symons, Chairman, ABCC

As Dr Al-Shuaiby stated, “We firmly believe that this agreement will make a contribution towards encouraging and

facilitating closer relations between the private sectors in Britain and Libya. The Chamber looks forward to playing its

part in the deepening bilateral trade, investment and economic collaboration between our two countries.�

Rt Hon Lord Trefgarne PC, chairman of the Libyan British Business Council and deputy chairman of the ABCC

Mr Khalil Masoud Mahfud and Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby signing the MoU between the two chambers


Networking Event for Members A networking event was held for members of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce on the morning of 26 September 2013.

The event successfully brought together new and established members from a range of sectors to exchange ideas and explore the potential for building business relationships.

overview of the history of the Chamber, during which he explained its unique origins and the many ways that it can help member companies to succeed in their business.

The main purpose of the meeting was to allow member companies to deliver brief presentations about their activities and explore how they might work with other members.

The event also provided an ideal opportunity for the Chamber to meet its members and learn about their business needs.

The Arab economies remained strong despite current circumstances in parts of the region and opportunities for business were strong, he said.

Members’ Presentations

Some invaluable feedback was received from members concerning the various services that the Chamber provides.

Mr El-Idrissi stressed that the Chamber’s remit was to facilitate bilateral trade and ensure that bilateral trade flows operated smoothly and efficiently.

Mr Mark Njoroge, ABCC Finance Controller, welcomed everyone to the Chamber on behalf of Dr Afnan AlShuaiby, ABCC Secretary General & CEO, and the Rt Hon Baroness Symons, ABCC Chairman. He said the Chamber recognised the value of networking for its members and aimed to host members’ events on a quarterly basis in future.

Chamber’s Services Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi, Director of Trade Services, ABCC, delivered a brief

The Chamber, functioning under an Arab League mandate since 1975, was not a self-appointed institution and its legitimacy acted as a seal of authority to member companies exporting to and active in the Arab region, he explained. He emphasised the relevance of the Chamber’s services and how they could assist companies. In particular the Arab Certification of Origin provided an added protection for goods, helping to ensure payment and offering an extra safeguard against fraud.

Mr John Carnt, Page Group

360ict The first to present was Mr Roy Charles, 360ict, a technology support services company, which offers a total package of telephone and computer management for clients, including tablets, wi-fi and printers. It also provides services in sales, marketing, human resources, office planning and financial reporting. As Mr Charles explained, 360ict has many Arab clients in London and across the Middle East. Carfax Education Carfax Education is a consultancy providing British-educated tutors, placements for boarding and day schools around the world. It also provided visa and immigration advice for clients moving to the UK.

Mr Roy Charles, 360ict


Mr Damir Eskerica, Moroso

Mr Jason Kitt, The Savoy Hotel

As Ms Anna Suprun explained, the company provides long-term support and pastoral oversight for overseas pupils attending schools in Britain.

and was active in areas such as corporate social responsibility, microfinance, education, development as well as emergency relief.


Mr Mujtaba stressed that Muslim Aid was not seeking donations from anyone present, but was interested in exploring sponsorship opportunities and assistance with specific projects.

Moroso is a family enterprise producing designer furniture for the luxury market and has been in business for over 60 years, Mr Damir Eskerica said. It prided itself on its original craftsmanship and offered customised design for private and commercial clients. The company had formed partnerships with modern art establishments such as MOMA and the V&A. Moroso was seeking to form long term partnerships with clients in the Arab world and was already active in countries such as Qatar and Bahrain. Muslim Aid Muslim Aid is a British based charity established in 1985 and now operating in 38 countries including the Middle East, Mr Salman Mujtaba explained. The charity had some 1,300 staff worldwide Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi, Director of Trade Services, ABCC


Oxford Professionals Mr Kinan Haddad stated that Oxford Professionals was a UK-based accountancy and business advice firm providing management accounting, analysis and training for executives. Its network of professionals had considerable experience in the Arab world. The company was able to offer help for investors and commercial representation in the UK and Arab countries. Page Group Established for over 25 years, Page Group operates worldwide and has

offices in London and Dubai. Mr John Carnt said that the company offered a range of services to help executives to know exactly who they are dealing with when doing business internationally. These include standard background checking and commercial due diligence to managing complex financial investigations. Radisson Blu The Radisson Blu Portman Hotel located in central London close to Edgware Road is a specialist in the Middle East market and works closely with Arab embassies in London, Mr Maurico Almonacid explained. He described its range of facilities for business clients including specially equipped meeting rooms. RE/MAX Prestige RE/MAX is a global real estate company first established in the US with nearly 100 thousand agents worldwide. Its newly opened office in Marylebone provided a strong base for attracting clients from the Middle East, Mr Mohamed Abdelwahab

Mr Mark Njoroge, ABCC Finance Controller

continued page 74


from page 73 Ms Anna Suprun, Carfax Education

said. Listings posted on the company’s website were translated into many languages and currencies. PDM Clinic PDM is a specialist clinic for prevention and disease management offering a simple, safe and sustainable method of treatment for diabetes, said Dr Sharief Ibrahim, explaining the benefits of early diagnosis. The clinic helps patients to identify the reasons behind their illnesses and to take action early to reduce them. Garth Coates Solicitors Mr Celemet Yener described Garth Coates Solicitors as immigration and nationality law specialists with a presence in Dubai. He estimated that some 40 percent of their clients were from the Middle East. The firm can provide help and advice to entrepreneurs and investors in the UK. The Savoy Hotel The famous Savoy luxury hotel was represented by Mr Jason Kitt who outlined the recently renovated hotel’s services for the Middle East market. It offered a range of luxury suites and rooms in Art Deco and Edwardian style; as well as an ’arrival experience’’ whereby guests are immediately shown to their rooms. A unique selling point was the famous visitors to the hotel over the years now highlighted in the new refurbishment and uncovered by the hotel’s archivist. A Club Mr Richard Swift described A Club as a new venture designed to help clients

Dr Sharief Ibrahim, PDM Clinic

achieve a more balanced life pattern where they could find more enjoyment and a longer life. He said business executives were particularly vulnerable in later life as they identify themselves with their ability to make decisions.

partnership with the free zone authority to attract businesses to set up in the free zone which would be a logistics centre suitable for a range of companies in all sectors, not simply for those with interest in the oil & gas sector.

A Club was using business tools to apply them to healthcare treatment and was working with business and the creative industries to develop its services, Mr Swift stated.

Mr Cotton pointed out that two thirds of Iraq’s total oil & gas reserves could be found in Basra which made it a strategic location offering many new opportunities for investors.

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park The Middle East market was important for the luxury hotel which reopened in 2000. Mr Paul Heyman described some of the new additional facilities that were being introduced such as a swimming pool and outlined its plans to open establishments in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Marrakesh and Riyadh in coming months and years. London & Partners Mr Bob Doyle introduced London & Partners, the official promotional organisation for the capital which works to attract business, students and visitors to the city. The agency has a special focus on the Middle East as it seeks to ensure that London remains ‘’Europe’s number one destination for investment’’, he said. It gives advice on such issues as setting up business, recruitment and the ideal locations for opening an office. Basra Oil & Gas Hub Limited (BIOGH) Mr Richard Cotton described the incentives available in the new Basra Oil & Gas Free Zone which was scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2014. London based Biogh was working in

Closing Remarks In conclusion, Dr Peter Smith, a longstanding member of the ABCC, shared his experiences of using the Chamber’s services over more than a decade. Currently working in Saudi Arabia with Al-Masader Al-Dualiyah for Environment and Quality Systems Co, Dr Smith described how a company would benefit from membership of the Chamber, which he described as a ‘’strategic organisation’’ for making new contacts. He spoke highly of the networking opportunities, documentation service and publications that are provided by the Chamber. Finally, during a question and answer session, members shared ideas with ABCC staff and provided valuable feedback that will enable the Chamber to develop and enhance its services in future. It was generally agreed that the event had been extremely successful in giving a platform for Chamber members and assisting communication with them.



ABCC BUSINESS DELEGATION TO JORDAN In order to assist companies to take advantage of the excellent opportunities offered by the Jordanian economy, the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in London and the Jordan Investment Board, led a high profile multi-sector business delegation to Jordan on 19 & 20 October 2013.

The Kingdom of Jordan was specifically selected as the market offers an array of opportunities for British companies seeking to do business abroad (see the report elsewhere in this magazine). The Kingdom’s economic system is founded on free enterprise and personal initiative which is demonstrated in its economic strength. During the last decade, Jordan has experienced robust economic growth of 6-8% each year, and fared well during the global economic downturn. The focus of the Chamber delegation was to participate in a specially designed programme of business activities comprising tailored B2B meetings and site visits, in which prominent local organisations, such as the Jordan Chamber of Commerce and Amman Chamber of Commerce, were involved. The delegation was also privileged to attend a private audience with HM King Abdullah II of Jordan, who welcomed and addressed the delegates at the Royal Hashemite Court.

the important role the Chamber has played over the years in building trade relations between the Arab world and the United Kingdom. Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby, Secretary General and Chief Executive of the ABCC, thanked the Jordan Chamber of Commerce for hosting the reception and for its assistance in organising the programme for the business delegation. Mr Bassem Farradj, Secretary General of the Amman Chamber of Commerce and CEO to several important Jordanian private enterprises, delivered a speech where he praised the work of the ABCC over the past four decades, and emphasised the Chamber’s unique role in promoting bilateral trade between the Arab and the British markets.

Finally, Dr Loay Munir Sehwail, General Manager of Jordan Industrial Estates Corporation (JIEC), outlined the improved quality and expansion of manufacturing in the Kingdom. In the evening, delegates met with the Chairman and Member of the Board of the Amman Chamber of Commerce, Senator Riad Saifi who emphasised the important role that chambers of commerce play in developing Jordan’s economy by promoting the investment and business environment in the Kingdom. The meeting was also attended by Mrs Reem Badran, Second Vice Chairman of the Amman Chamber of Commerce, Mr Bassem Farradj and

The ABCC business delegation included key representatives of leading companies and organisations such as: London & Partners, Shell, National Express Group, Blenheim Capital, Europe Arab Bank, One Financial Markets, Life Technologies, Kensington and Chelsea Education Ltd, The King John School, Bradford College International Centre and British American Tobacco. The itinerary began with a meeting inaugurated by Mr Issa Murad, Vice President of the Jordan Chamber of Commerce, who welcomed the delegates to the country and stressed

From left: Mr Issa Haider Murad, First Vice Chairman, Jordan Chamber of Commerce, Dr Afnan Al Shuaiby, Secretary General & CEO, Arab British Chamber of Commerce, and Mr Bassem Farradj, Secretary General, Amman Chamber of Commerce continued page 76


from page 75

Members of the British business delegation to Amman with HM King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (centre)

Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby. The first day of the visit ended with an evening networking and dinner graciously hosted by the Amman Chamber of Commerce. On the second day, the delegates visited the Royal Hashemite Court (RHC) and joined the UKTI and Lord Mayor’s delegation that was headed by the Lord Mayor Alderman Roger Gifford and the Rt Hon Baroness Morris of Bolton, the British Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy. A presentation was made by Mr Imad Fakhoury, Director of His Majesty’s Office at the Royal Hashemite Court of Jordan, who stressed the importance of maintaining good trade relations between the UK and Jordan. The meeting was held in the presence of Dr Hatem AlHalawani, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, HE Mr Mazen Hmoud, Jordanian Ambassador to the UK, and HE Mr Peter Millett, British Ambassador to Jordan. The delegation was also received by His Majesty the King of Jordan. The private audience was attended by the Lord Mayor, Baroness Morris, HE Mr Mazen Hmoud, HE Mr Peter Millett, Dr Afnan AlShuaiby and and Sir Nigel Knowles, CEO of DLA Piper. HM the King addressed the British business delegation during which he called for participants to take advantage of the investment environment in his country, the opportunities provided by the Jordanian economy. He pointed out that the private sector in Jordan was a key partner in the process of development, modernisation and progress that the Kingdom has made, through its contribution to the promotion of trade and investment and the creation of new jobs. Later a networking lunch was hosted

for the delegates by the JIB at the Hayat Hotel, where more than 200 business Jordanian executives were present. Keynote speeches were delivered by the Jordanian Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, and Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby. Delegates then made a site visit to the Jordanian branch of Shell - Jordan Oil Shale Company (JOSCO) where they were conducted on a tour of the facilities and a presentation was delivered by its General Manager and Country Chair, Mr Thomas Meijssen. Afterwards delegates attended the Oasis 500 Business Entrepreneurial and ICT event organised by Oasis500 and

the UK’s Tech City. This event was also attended by members of the ICT sector in Jordan, who were keen to discuss potential business cooperation with the British delegates. Finally, a reception at the residence of British Ambassador, HE Mr Peter Millett was held with more than 300 people in attendance. The ABCC trade mission received many positive comments from both the organisers and participants, and received wide coverage in the media which underlined its purpose of enhancing economic and commercial partnerships between the UK and the Kingdom of Jordan.

Dr Loay Munir Sehwail, General Manager, JIEC, Mr Issa Haider Murad, First Vice Chairman, JCC, Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby, Secretary General & CEO, ABCC and Mr Bassem Farradj, Secretary General, Amman Chamber of Commerce


ABCC Hosts International Intellectual Property Conference The Arab British Chamber of Commerce hosted a major conference on intellectual property rights on Thursday 12 December 2013.

The event brought together key ministers responsible for IP laws along with legal experts from Britain and around the Arab world to discuss the latest developments in IP rights and the regulations needed to combat the spread of IP crime including fake goods, illegal downloads, trademark and copyright violations. Rt Hon Baroness Symons, Chairman of the ABCC, chaired and opened the proceedings by setting the agenda for the conference which was held at London’s Langham Hotel. She explained that protection of Intellectual Property had been an important issue for business since the beginning of inventions.

The first keynote speaker was HE Dr Muhammad bin Abdul-Kareem AlIssa, the Minister for Justice, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and President of the Supreme Court of Justice in Saudi Arabia. The Minister stated that legal and administrative action was needed to protect vulnerable businesses from the threat of piracy. IP rights were a topical issue with advances in technology and serious violations such as piracy of technologies destroy creativity and undermine innovation. Action was being taken at the global and Arab regional levels, the Minister stated.

There is a need for the protection of borders as well as for legislation to combat cross-border piracy. The Minister explained the actions taken by Saudi Arabia to offer legal protection and adopt laws that were in conformity with international conventions. Counterfeit goods needed to be stopped at the border; not only do such fake goods violate the rights of the producer they are pose a threat to the consumer. This was particularly the case with food and medicines. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he explained, there were a number of bodies offering the protection of IP rights including the Ministry of Commerce, the

HE Dr Muhammad bin AbdulKareem Al-Issa, the Minister for Justice, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

HE Sheikh Nasser Bin Ibrahim Almohaimeed, Head of the Judicial Inspection and Member of the Supreme Judicial Council



Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby, ABCC Secretary General and CEO

Ministry of Information and the strong judiciary and legal framework. The second keynote speaker, HE Dr Bassam Al-Talhouni, the Minister of Justice, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, said that the development of any economy depended on creativity and innovations in the arts and sciences. These activities demanded proper protection to ensure economic progress and prosperity.

He outlined the laws in place in Jordan covering key issues such as trade secrets and protection against unfair competition. Jordan was a WIPO member and had been a member of the WTO since 2000. Lack of cross-border action and lengthy legal processes also impeded effective measures against criminal infringements. Sentences and fines were often too minimal to deter repeat offenders.

forward to closer cooperation between the justice departments of the UK, Saudi Arabia and Jordan; and in fact the UK Ministry of Justice was already working with Jordan on combating cybercrime. He said that the manufacturing of fake goods was a serious criminal offence in the UK with a penalty of up to 10 year imprisonment. The Minister said that the ABCC

The Minister said that effective action was a priority of the Jordanian government and customs officials had the right to seize suspect products at the border and would take swift legal action against those importing such goods. The Rt Hon Lord McNally, the UK Minister of State for Justice, praised the ABCC for taking the initiative in holding the conference and said that he had long been aware of all the excellent work of the Chamber.

HE Dr Bassam Al-Talhouni, Jordan Minister of Justice

He said that he took a keen interest in IP rights as the issue was important for the UK because the creative industries were one of the country’s success stories. Lord McNally said the international dimension was a vital one and he looked

Mr Mike Pullen, partner DLA Piper continued page 80


from page 79 Mr Majed bin Mohammad bin Garoub, Secretary General, the National Union of Lawyers in the GCC Countries

Mr Adil El Maliki, Director General, Moroccan Industrial and Commercial Property Office (OMPIC)

preventative measures could be taken to protect IP rights.

conference offered a unique opportunity for extending global cooperation on issues such as cyber security.

were presented to the three ministers by Baroness Symons on behalf of the Chamber.

In her speech Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby, ABCC Secretary General and CEO, delivered a personal thanks to ministers of justice of Saudi Arabia and Jordan and to Lord McNally.

A panel discussion on the theme of Strategic Dialogue on Changing Public Perceptions on Counterfeiting and IP Theft was chaired by Barrister Cherie Blair CBE, QC, Omnia Strategy LLP.

She also thanked the conference sponsors, Al Rashed & Sons Group and DLA Piper, for their support.

The distinguished panel considered how best to collaborate at government level and business-to-business.

The actual spending power of consumers needed to be considered in order to give people legal access to goods that were on the market. He said an attack on IP should be seen as an attack on the entire society.

Dr Al-Shuaiby was congratulated on her reappointment as Secretary General & CEO of the ABCC.

Mrs Blair said that a key issue was how to influence consumer awareness and the need to work together to address the issues.

H E Sheikh Ibrahim Bin Abdel Aziz Ghossn, President of the National Committee of Lawyers, declared that IP was one of most vital legal matters.

Mr Adil El Maliki, Director General, Moroccan Industrial and Commercial Property Office (OMPIC), described his country’s experience in protecting IP.

He praised the conference for offering an opportunity to address the latest strategies needed to meet the challenge posed by IP violations.

He said that globalisation has an impact on all brands around the world but it was local brands that were the first to be damaged.

It was essential to protect innovation and he estimated that the Arab world lost some $50 billion annually as a result of IP theft and counterfeiting.

He said that the registration of patents in Morocco was growing, and was an indication of the growing awareness among local firms of the importance of IP.

He explained that the protection available in the Arab world had its roots in the principles of Islamic law.

At the conclusion of this opening session, certificates of appreciation

HE Sheikh Nasser Bin Ibrahim Almohaimeed, Head of the Judicial Inspection and Member of the Supreme Judicial Council, told the conference that legislation needed to be clear as did the consequences of committing an offence. Viscount Younger of Leckie, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Intellectual Property

He said that it was important to consider prevention before prosecution and that

There was a need for ethical and humane awareness among traders and business innovators.

Robert Bond, Partner, Speechly Bircham LLP, provided a UK perspective on how to change public attitudes about IP rights. Recent developments show that education was central to combating IP piracy, he said. One in five companies had faced an attack on their trade secrets in the last 10 years, he warned.



Rt Hon Baroness Symons, Chairman of the ABCC

The second session on Co-ordinating Law Enforcement Against Counterfeiters was chaired by Mike Pullen, partner DLA Piper and ABCC Board Member. The keynote speech was delivered by Viscount Younger of Leckie, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Intellectual Property, who described the action that the UK was taking to enforce IP rights which were crucial to innovation and growth. The Minister said that many enforcement agencies in the public and private sectors had a stake in ensuring IP protection in the UK. The IP Office (IPO) coordinated all the UK’s efforts and was achieving success

Rt Hon Lord McNally, the UK Minister of State for Justice

the Minister said, pointing out that it was a model of good practice overseas. Countries have much to learn from each other, the Minister said, announcing that the UK would be hosting a major international IP summit next summer and looked forward to Arab participation. Mr Majed bin Mohammad bin Garoub, Secretary General, the National Union of Lawyers in the GCC, said that the conference had helped clarify that the utmost was being done to protect victims from IP violations. He explained that counterfeiting was an industry that runs in parallel with mainstream industries. Interpol had confirmed that the same factories were producing parts for genuine products as well as producing fake goods. All countries were committed to meeting their legal obligations whether wealthy or poor, but violations of copyright still took place even in the area of education where students regularly photocopied textbooks with the full knowledge of their tutors. Barrister Ms Jane Lambert said that the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, known as TRIPS, was the lynchpin of the IP system. She explained that international obligations to protect brands, art and literature came into force under the WTO. Finally, David Meldrum, Partner, D Young & Co, looked at the positive legislative

framework needed to support innovators and assist those seeking to register their products. He said progress in IP awareness had been made around the world and that it goes closely with investment in research & development in the Arab world. In summing up, Baroness Symons declared the conference a success in that it had raised some key questions of concern to industry, innovators and exporters. IP violation was an international problem that demanded international co-operation. Baroness Symons urged companies to join the ABCC and benefit from its services.

H E Sheikh Ibrahim Bin Abdel Aziz Ghossn, President of the National Committee of Lawyers





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Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby Reappointed as Secretary General & CEO of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce The Arab British Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby has been reappointed as Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of the ABCC for a further four-year term of office.

Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby, ABCC Secretary General and CEO

The decision was taken by the General Union of Arab Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Beirut. The reappointment of Dr Al-Shuaiby was announced by His Excellency Mr Adnan Kasser, President of the General Union of Arab Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, during his keynote speech to the Chamber’s Annual Dinner on 9th December, where it was

warmly welcomed by all the guests present. The reappointment was then unanimously ratified by the Executive Committee and then by the full Board of Directors of the ABCC during their meetings held on 10th December. The reappointment of Dr Al-Shuaiby is a strong recognition of her effective

leadership role of the Chamber and her success in promoting trade and investment between Britain and the Arab world. Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby became the first woman to hold the position of Secretary General and CEO of the ABCC when she was appointed in 2007.



Dr Samia Al-Shouli E 201 Castle Exchange 11 Lenton Street NOTTINGHAM NG1 3AB Tel: +44(0)744-686 8345 Email: Contact: Dr Samia Al-Shouli

Dukes London

360ict Limited Provident House Burrell Row KENT BR3 IAT Tel: +44(0)208663 4000 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Roy Charles Director Business Activity: IT support and managed services

Advanced Vision Care 77 Harley Street LONDON W1G 8QN Tel: +44(0)20-7935 7497 Fax: 0870 755 9811 Email:; Website: Contact: Mr C T Pillai Medical Director Business Activity: Laser vision correction, cataract surgery, keratoconus treatment, other non-laser treatments

AIG Europe Limited The AIG Building 58 Fenchurch Street LONDON EC3M 4AB Tel: +44(0)20-7651 6061 Email: Website: Contact: Dr Rhodri Williams Strategic Advisor to the CEO, EMEA Business Activity: All classes of insurance other than life insurance

Carrs of Sheffield (MFG) Limited Troy House 2 Holbrook Avenue Holbrook SHEFIELD S20 3FH Tel: +44(0)114-2510 610 Fax: +44(0)114-2510 875 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Walter Gritti Sales Manager Business Activity: Sterling silver, silverplated giftware and cutlery, photoframes and bespoke commissions

Cinema AV Design 62 South Ealing Road LONDON W5 4QB Tel: +44(0)20-3137 2966 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Moses Opone Proprietor Business Activity: Home cinema; multiroom audio/video, lighting control, home automation, control systems

Do Systems Limited Unit 4, The Woodford Centre Old Sarum Airfield SALISBURY SP4 6BU Tel: +44(0)1722-333 394 Fax: +44(0)1722-333 395 Email: businessdevelopment@dosystems. com; Website: Contact: Mr David Gell Business Development Manager Business Activity: Aviation, airborne surveillance, border security, maritime security and land use survey

35 St James’s Place LONDON SW1A 1NY Tel: +44(0)20-7491 4840 Direct: +44(0)20-7318 0898 Fax: +44(0)20-7493 1264 Email: Website: Contact: Ms Annalisa Sudano PR & Junior Sales Executive Business Activity: Five star delux boutique hotel

Foundation for International Education 114 Cromwell Road LONDON SW7 4ES Tel: +44(0)20-7591 7750 Fax: +44(0)20-7591 7778 Email: Website: Contact: Ms Hania al Muhaisen Chair Business Activity: Supplying educational services

Fuerst Day Lawson Limited Devon House 58-60 St Kathariness Way LONDON E1W 1JP Tel: +44(0)20-7488 0777 Direct +44(0)20-7265 5233 Fax: +44(0)20-7702 3200 Email: Website: Contact: Ms Emma Hicks Customer Care and Logistics Manager Business Activity: Supplier of food ingredients

Golden Cascade Consulting WLL Avenue 50 Business Centre, PO Box 38765 Building 38, Third Floor Suite 216, Road 50, Block 426 Jidhafs BAHRAIN Tel: +973 34 426 055 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Sarfraz Sharief Managing Director Business Activity: Corporate finance advisory, specialising in mergers and acquisitions



Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living

International University of America

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel

Corner Mount Street and Park Lane London W1K 7TN Tel: +44 (0)20 7518 4444 Direct +44 (0)20 7518 4818 Email: Website: Contact: Steve Thorne Director of Sales and Marketing Business Activity: Luxury hotel residence

1 Hastings Street Royal Arsenal Gatehouse Beresford Square LONDON SE18 6AR Tel: +44(0)20-8331 0555 Fax: +44(0)20-8316 6656 Email: Website: Contact: Dr Peter Ng Director Business Activity: Higher education institution offering bachelors, masters and doctoral courses

66 Knightsbridge LONDON SW1X 7LA Tel: +44(0)20-7235 2000 Fax: +44(0)20-7235 2001 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Paul Herman Sales Manager Middle East Business Activity: Hotel, restaurant and hospitality

I-Flow Autotec Limited 36 Ellesboro Road HARBORNE B17 8PT Tel: +44(0)121- 260 0526 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Hocine Idjer Managing Director Business Activity: i-Flow Autotec offers a unique management solution to the auto industry. It is able to provide solutions which encompass sales, engineering, manufacturing and logistics and the development and execution of new products. Through “Optimum Works®”, i-Flow Au

Imperial Tobacco Group Ltd P.O.Box 244 SOUTHVILLE BS99 7UJ Tel: +44(0)117-9636 636 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Adam Cleave Intergovernmental Relations Manager Business Activity: Manufacturing high quality tobacco products

Intercargo Limited UNIT 655 River Gardens North Feltham Trading Estate FELTHAM TW14 0RB Tel: +44(0)20-8831 9770 Fax: +44(0)20-8831 9377 Email:; majeed. Website: Contact: Mr Majeed Douglah Business Development Executive Business Activity: Freight forwarder

Jersey Finance Limited 4th Floor, Sir Walter Raleigh House 48-50 Esplanade ST HELIER JE2 3QB Tel: +44(0)1534-836 000 Fax: +44(0)1534-836 001 Email:; richard.; sean.costello@; lauren.fletcher@ Website: Contact: Ms Lauren Fletcher Technical Manager Business Activity: Non-profit making organisation promoting Jersey as an international financial centre

Jumeirah Carlton Tower On Cadogan Place LONDON SW1X 9PY Tel: +44(0)20-7235 1234 Fax: +44(0)20-7858 7164 Email:; adele.taylor@ Website: Contact: Ms Adele Taylor Diplomatic Advisor Business Activity: Luxury hotel with 216 rooms and suites, meeting & event space, leisure facilities, spa and swimming pool

Malath Instalments P.O.Box 62061 Riyadh 11585 SAUDI ARABIA Tel: +44(0)750-8208506 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Mazen Al-Zamel Partner & Board Member Business Activity: Small loans for business projects

McGee Group Limited 340 - 342 Athlon Road WEMBLEY HA0 1BX Tel: +44(0)20-8998 1101 Fax: +44(0)20-8997 7689 Email:; mail@;; brian. Website: Contact: Mr Michael McGee Director Business Activity: McGee Group is a broad based construction company and multidisciplined specialist and civil contractor. Family owned and managed for over 50 years, McGee has worked on many leading projects in the UK including Wembley Stadium and Battersea Power Station

Mental Performance Society 23 Holybourne Avenue LONDON SW15 4JJ Tel: +44(0)794-057 7458 Email: Contact: Mr Richard Swift Director Business Activity: Healthcare services

Moroso Limited 7-15 Rosebery Avenue LONDON EC1R 4SP Tel: +44(0)20-3328 3560 Fax: +44(0)20-7278 2944 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Damir Eskerica Managing Director Business Activity: Designer furniture, sofas, armchairs and accessories

Omar Naseef Flat 17 161 Fulham Road LONDON SW3 6SN Tel: +44(0)790-0906288 Email: Contact: Mr Omar Naseef Student

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from page 89

Parameter Hopkins Engineering Limited Unit 7 Hatch Industrial Estate Gerywell Road HATCH RG24 7JL Tel: +44(0)771-842 5321 Email: Contact: Mr Ahmed Muallah Managing Director Business Activity: Manufacturing and distribution of water meters to the Middle East

Petroleum Software Limited 109 Gloucester Road South Kensington LONDON SW7 4SS Tel: +44(0)20-7341 7870 Fax: +44(0)20-7341 78788 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Haluk Toral Managing Director Business Activity: Multiphase flow metering for oil and gas industry; software analysis of hydro-dynamic signals

Reputation Institute 16 Park Crescent LONDON W1B 1AH Tel: +44(0)20-7291 5345 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Raakesh Savji Parmar Head of Business Development Business Activity: Consulting services; reputation management

RFIB Group Limited 20 Gracechurch Street LONDON EC3V 0AF Tel: +44(0)20-7621 1263 Fax: +44(0)20-7623 6175 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Adrian Spooner Director Business Activity: Insurance and reinsurance; Lloyd’s Insurance broker

Roxylight Project Services (Nottingham) Limited 50 Aylesbury Road Aston Clinton AYLESBURY HP22 5AH UK Tel: +44(0)129-663 3700 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Nigel Brunskill Managing Director Business Activity: Property development and property management

Safcorp Limited

Trak Microwave T/a Kaelus

49 Latymer Court Hammersmith Road LONDON W6 7IE Tel: +44(0)776-565535 Fax: +962 6 5939357 Email: Contact: Mrs Narmin Kirdar CEO Business Activity: Corporate uniforms for army, police and hospitals

1 Aquarius Court Viking Way Block 29 Dunsinane Avenue ROSYTH DD2 3QF Tel: +44(0)138-3437 920 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Kevin Mullen Operations Business Activity: Designs and manufactures a wide range of innovative RF and microwave solutions for the wireless telecommunications sector

Stak (UK) Limited 49 Berkeley Court Marylebone Road LONDON NW1 5NB Tel: +44(0)1895-822 205 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Antoine Kohler Managing Director Business Activity: Global supplier of professional solutions for all aspects of supplies into Middle East and Africa; supplies required for election purposes; electronic registration

Strongfield Technologies Limited Strongfield House Unit 2, 89 Manor Farm Road WEMBLEY HA0 1BA Tel: +44(0)20-8799 8909 Fax: +44(0)20-8799 8901 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Vik Mongia Business Development Director Business Activity: Training and trading in spare parts for aviation

Sunny Gardens Limited 536 Lordship Lane LONDON N22 5BY Tel: +44(0)20-8889 5511 Fax: +44(0)20-8889 5533 Email: Website: Contact: Mr Abdessalem Loued Managing Director Business Activity: Import-export and distribution of olive oil

The London Clinic 20 Devonshire Place LONDON W1G 6BW Tel: +44(0)20-7935 4444 Ext 3268 Fax: +44(0)20-3219 3516 Email: Website: Contact: Ms Nadia Qureshi International Manager Business Activity: Private healthcare

Vtrade Worldwide Limited Unit 22 Henfield Business Park Shoreham Road HENFIELD BN5 9SL Tel: +44(0)127-349 7050 Fax: +44(0)127-349 5015 Email:; Website: Contact: Mr Michael Foreman Director Business Activity: Military vehicle design and build

Yasser Bin Ali Binhomran Trading Establishment Bin Homran Tower Thaliaya Street P.O.Box 16002 Jeddah 21464 SAUDI ARABIA Tel: +966 1 2 266 40011 Email: Contact: Mr Yasser Bin Homran Managing Director Business Activity: Gold trading and real estate development

Choosing your corporate venue is always an important decision because it sets the tone for the entire event

& Conference Booking Contemporary yet stylish, set in the heart of Mayfair, the Arab British Chamber of Commerce business meeting rooms combine a central London location with complete dedication to service and discretion to suit a variety of corporate meetings and events. Fully equipped venues typically hold: AGM’s, Board Meetings, Conferences, Presentations, Trade Shows, Exhibitions, Workshops, Lectures, Product Launches, Professional Development Seminars. Each venue can be customized to meet the individual requirements of your event. For venue hire enquires please contact Omar Bdour on +44 (0) 20 7659 4860, or visit our website for more information and the range of available venues.

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‫ﺍﻟﻌﺪﺩ ﺍﻟﺜﺎﻟﺚ‪ ،‬ﺍﻟﻤﺠﻠﺪ ‪ ،8‬ﺷﺘﺎء ‪2013‬‬

‫ﻏﺮﻓﺔ ﺍﻟﺘﺠﺎﺭﺓ ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ ﺍﻟﺒﺮﻳﻄﺎﻧﻴﺔ‬

‫‪Arab-British Chamber of Commerce‬‬

‫‪43 Upper Grosvenor Street‬‬ ‫‪London W1K 2NJ‬‬ ‫‪Tel: +44 (0) 20 7235 4363‬‬ ‫‪Fax: +44 (0) 20 7245 6688‬‬ ‫‪‬‬


‫ﻣﺤﺘــــــــﻮﻳﺎﺕ ﺍﻟــــــﻌﺪﺩ‬ ‫ﺗﻘﺎﺭﻳﺮ ﺧﺎﺻﺔ‬

‫‪4‬‬ ‫‪4‬‬

‫ ﻣﻘﺎﺑﻠﺔ ﺧﺎﺻﺔ ﻣﻊ ﻣﺪﻳﺮ‪ /‬ﻣﺆﺳﺴﺔ ﺗﺮﺍﻓﻴﻼﻛﺲ ﻟﺘﻄﻮﻳﺮ ﺍﻷﻋﻤﺎﻝ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﺸﺮﻕ ﺍﻷﻭﺳﻂ‪ ،‬ﻭﺍﻟﻬﻨﺪ‬‫ﻭﺗﺮﻛﻴﺎ‬ ‫ ﺗﻮﺳﻴﻊ ﺍﻟﺴﻜﻚ ﺍﻟﺤﺪﻳﺪﻳﺔ ﺍﻟﺴﻌﻮﺩﻳﺔ‬‫ ﺗﻌﺰﻳﺰ ﺍﻟﻌﻼﻗﺎﺕ ﺑﻴﻦ ﺍﻟﻤﻤﻠﻜﺔ ﺍﻟﻤﺘﺤﺪﺓ ﻭﻣﺤﺎﻛﻢ ﺩﺑﻲ ﺍﻟﺘﺠﺎﺭﻳﺔ‬‫ ﻣﺸﺮﻭﻉ ﻗﺎﻧﻮﻥ ﺍﻟﺸﺮﻛﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﺘﺠﺎﺭﻳﺔ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻹﻣﺎﺭﺍﺕ ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ ﺍﻟﻤﺘﺤﺪﺓ‬‫ ﺍﻟﺮﻋﺎﻳﺔ ﺍﻟﺼﺤﻴﺔ ﻟﻠﻤﻐﺘﺮﺑﻴﻦ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﻌﺎﻟﻢ ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻲ‬‫ ﺍﻻﺳﺘﺜﻤﺎﺭ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻷﺭﺩﻥ‬‫ ﺍﻷﺣﺪﺙ ﺑﺨﺼﻮﺹ ﺿﺮﻳﺒﺔ ﺍﻟﻌﻘﺎﺭﺍﺕ ﺍﻟﺴﻜﻨﻴﺔ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﻤﻤﻠﻜﺔ ﺍﻟﻤﺘﺤﺪﺓ‬‫ ﻣﻘﺎﺑﻠﺔ ﺧﺎﺻﺔ ﻣﻊ ﻣﺪﻳﺮ ﺷﺮﻛﺔ ﺍﻟﻤﻘﺎﻭﻟﻴﻦ ﺍﻟﻤﺘﺤﺪﺓ‬‫‪ -‬ﺍﻟﻤﺴﺢ ﺍﻻﻗﺘﺼﺎﺩﻱ ﺍﻟﻔﺼﻠﻲ‬

‫‪8‬‬ ‫‪12‬‬ ‫‪18‬‬ ‫‪22‬‬ ‫‪28‬‬ ‫‪32‬‬ ‫‪36‬‬ ‫‪54‬‬

‫‪ -‬ﺍﻟﻨﻘﻞ ﻭﺍﻟﺨﺪﻣﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﻠﻮﺟﺴﺘﻴﺔ – ﺗﻘﺮﻳﺮ ﺧﺎﺹ‬


‫ﺃﺧﺒﺎﺭ ﻭﻧﺸﺎﻁﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﻐﺮﻓﺔ‬

‫‪68‬‬ ‫‪68‬‬ ‫‪88‬‬

‫ ﻧﺸﺎﻁﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﻐﺮﻓﺔ‬‫‪ -‬ﺃﻋﻀﺎء ﺟﺪﺩ‬

‫ﺍﻟﺘﻘﺮﻳﺮ ﺍﻻﻗﺘﺼﺎﺩﻱ ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻲ‬

‫ ﺯﻳﺎﺭﺓ ﺍﻟﻐﺮﻓﺔ ﻭﺍﻟﻮﻓﺪ ﺍﻟﺘﺠﺎﺭﻱ ﺇﻟﻰ ﺍﻷﺭﺩﻥ‬‫ ﻣﺆﺗﻤﺮ ﺍﻻﺳﺘﺜﻤﺎﺭ ﻟﺸﺮﺍﻛﺔ ﺩﻭﻓﻴﻞ ‪2‬‬‫ ﺍﺟﺘﻤﺎﻉ ﺍﻟﻄﺎﻭﻟﺔ ﺍﻟﻤﺴﺘﺪﻳﺮﺓ ﻣﻊ ﺍﻟﻮﻓﺪ ﺍﻟﺮﺳﻤﻲ ﺍﻟﺘﻮﻧﺴﻲ‬‫ ﺗﻮﻗﻴﻊ ﻣﺬﻛﺮﺓ ﺗﻔﺎﻫﻢ ﺑﻴﻦ ﺍﻟﻐﺮﻓﺔ ﻭﻏﺮﻓﺔ ﺗﺠﺎﺭﺓ ﻭﺻﻨﺎﻋﺔ ﻭﺯﺭﺍﻋﺔ ﻁﺮﺍﺑﻠﺲ‪ /‬ﻟﻴﺒﻴﺎ‬‫ ﻧﺪﻭﺓ ﺍﻟﻐﺮﻓﺔ ﻟﻸﻋﻀﺎء‬‫ ﺍﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪﻯ ﺍﻻﻗﺘﺼﺎﺩﻱ ﺍﻹﺳﻼﻣﻲ ﺍﻟﻌﺎﻟﻤﻲ‬‫ ﺍﻷﺣﺪﺙ ﺑﺨﺼﻮﺹ ﺿﺮﻳﺒﺔ ﺍﻟﻌﻘﺎﺭﺍﺕ ﺍﻟﺴﻜﻨﻴﺔ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﻤﻤﻠﻜﺔ ﺍﻟﻤﺘﺤﺪﺓ‬‫‪ -‬ﻏﺮﻓﺔ ﺍﻟﺘﺠﺎﺭﺓ ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ ﺍﻟﺒﺮﻳﻄﺎﻧﻴﺔ ﺗﻨﻈﻢ ﻣﺆﺗﻤﺮﺍً ﺩﻭﻟﻴﺎ ً ﻟﻠﻤﻠﻜﻴﺔ ﺍﻟﻔﻜﺮﻳﺔ‬

‫‪93‬‬ ‫‪125‬‬ ‫‪122‬‬ ‫‪120‬‬ ‫‪116‬‬ ‫‪114‬‬ ‫‪104‬‬ ‫‪101‬‬ ‫‪97‬‬

‫"ﺃﺿﻮﺍء ﻋﻠﻰ ﻗﻀﺎﻳﺎ ﺍﻟﻌﻼﻗﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ‪-‬ﺍﻟﺒﺮﻳﻄﺎﻧﻴﺔ"‬ ‫ﻣﺠﻠﺔ ﺍﻗﺘﺼﺎﺩﻳﺔ ﻣﻦ ﺇﺻﺪﺍﺭﺍﺕ ﻏﺮﻓﺔ ﺍﻟﺘﺠﺎﺭﺓ‬ ‫ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ ﺍﻟﺒﺮﻳﻄﺎﻧﻴﺔ ﻓﻲ ﻟﻨﺪﻥ‬

‫ﺣﻘﻮﻕ ﺍﻟﻨﺸﺮ‬

‫ﺗﺤﺘﻔﻆ ﻏﺮﻓﺔ ﺍﻟﺘﺠﺎﺭﺓ ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ – ﺍﻟﺒﺮﻳﻄﺎﻧﻴﺔ ﺑﺤﻘﻮﻕ‬ ‫ﺍﻟﻨﺸﺮ ﻟﻠﻤﻌﻠﻮﻣﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﺘﻲ ﺗﺤﺘﻮﻳﻬﺎ ﻫﺬﻩ ﺍﻟﻤﺠﻠﺔ‪ ،‬ﻭﻻ‬ ‫ﻳﺤﻖ ﻷﻱ ﺟﻬﺔ ﺃﺧﺮﻯ ﺇﻋﺎﺩﺓ ﺃﻧﺘﺎﺟﻬﺎ ﺃﻭ ﺇﻋﺎﺩﺓ‬ ‫ﺻﻴﺎﻏﺘﻬﺎ ﺃﻭ ﺇﻋﺎﺩﺓ ﺗﻮﺯﻳﻌﻬﺎ ﺍﻟﻜﻠﻲ ﺃﻭ ﺍﻟﺠﺰﺋﻲ ﺑﺪﻭﻥ‬ ‫ﻣﻮﺍﻓﻘﺔ ﻣﺒﺎﺷﺮﺓ ﻣﻦ ﻏﺮﻓﺔ ﺍﻟﺘﺠﺎﺭﺓ ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ‬ ‫ﺍﻟﺒﺮﻳﻄﺎﻧﻴﺔ‪.‬‬

‫ﻓﺮﻳﻖ ﺍﻟﻤﺤﺮﺭﻳﻦ‬

‫ﻋﺒﺪ ﺍﻟﺴﻼﻡ ﺍﻹﺩﺭﻳﺴﻲ‪ ،‬ﻛﻠﻴﻒ ﻟﻮﺭﺍﻧﺲ‪ ،‬ﺩﻳﻔﻴﺪ‬ ‫ﻣﻮﺭﻛﺎﻥ‪ ،‬ﺩ‪ .‬ﻳﺎﺳﻤﻴﻦ ﺣﺴﻴﻦ‬

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Economic Focus 5  

The Magazine of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce