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Austria Connect Gulf 2011 gets deeper

13. December 2011

In a bid to understand the emerging and frontier markets in the region, Austria Connect Gulf 2011 tackled several high impact issues with a distinguished panel of guests and enthusiastic participants. 

The dismal outlook of world economy in recent times, besides casting a shadow on the fast growing GCC and Gulf countries, had also spawned concerns regarding the emerging and frontier markets in the region. It was an opportune time for Austria Connect Gulf 2011 to step forward, dig deeper and confront similar questions related to the region such as focusing on strengthening Austria’s presence in the established and wealthy Gulf economies or on the more profitable but riskier frontier markets in the region. Over 80 participants gathered at this year’s trans-regional event hosted by the Austrian Trade Commission in the UAE together with the Austrian Trade Commissions in Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia at the Raffles Hotel in Dubai on November 27, 2011. This conference provided the perfect foil for all partakers to discuss the MENA countries’ market potential and attractiveness.
An eminent panel discussed the main theme of Austria Connect Gulf 2011: “Should one try to strengthen the presence in the established and wealthy Gulf Economies or focus on the more profitable but also riskier Frontier Markets in the region?” The discussion dealt with great depth high-impact issues related to emerging/frontier markets and its effect on Austrian entrepreneurs. Other noteworthy topics that were raised at the conference included panel discussions on the connectivity of Austria to GCC, the impact of social media networks for business and an extensive country focus on Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, UAE & Qatar.
Impeccable organization, ideal networking opportunity and in depth discussion of relevant issues in the MENA region in the presence of Austrian Trade Commissioners and industry experts in the region were the hallmarks of this year’s conference.
Stefan Egger, DGM, Takaful Emarat and a participant at the event said: “It was an enriching experience- well organized with information on relevant issues in the MENA region. Besides being a perfect networking-opportunity I particularly found the session on Frontier markets around Gulf very beneficial. Also I hope that in the future this event also invites local Austrian partners.”
For Theodor Strohal, senior partner, Strohal Legal Group, also a speaker at Austria Connect Gulf 2011 found it a very motivating experience. He commented: “It was superlatively organized, and we had a lot of enthusiastic participants- queries kept pouring in during the session and after it. I got a lot of enquiries regarding the legal framework in different countries in the region. Moreover, I thought the idea of having commercial councilors from different regions in the Middle East as speakers at this conference very beneficial. Also I acquired around 3 clients at this conference. “
Heartened by the positive responses and suggestions from the participants, Austrian Trade Commissioner in Abu Dhabi, Dr. Wolfgang Penzias said: “We are very happy with the feedback we have received for Austria Connect Gulf 2011. It is encouraging that we could address relevant issues in the region in the presence of other Austrian Trade commissioners, their teams, industry experts and analysts. Each year we attempt to cover a variety of subjects impacting the Gulf and its neighboring countries in connection with Austria. In the long run, our aim is to promote this event also as an educational tool for Austrian companies and to attract local interest to do business with Austria."