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Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce makes an impression

AACC
4. October 2011

The Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce’s expertise, activities and connections to key figures in economy and trade, renders the AACC the ideal partner to engage for business between Austria and the Arab Countries. In a conversation with the Austrian Trade Commission, Dipl. Ing Mouddar Khouja, secretary general, AACC gives an insight into the working, aspirations and role of AACC in bridging the gap between Austria and Arab countries

The Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC), as its name indicates, is a link between both, Austria and the Arab countries. The AACC is specialised in providing a network of services and valuable information to businesspeople, companies and institutions. Its main objective is to support, promote, and enhance economic and trade activities in both regions. Its expertise, activities and connections to key figures in economy and trade, renders the AACC the ideal partner to engage for business between Austria and the Arab Countries.
In a conversation with Dipl. Ing. Mouddar Khouja, secretary general, AACC, he gives an insight into the working, aspirations and role of AACC in bridging the gap between Austria and Arab countries. Elaborating on the mission of AACC, Mr. Khouja says, “Since AACC’s inception in 1989, at the initiative of renowned businessman counselor Nabil Kuzbari, the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce has relentlessly carried on the task of bridging the gap between Austria and the Arab countries, not only in the areas of trade and economy, but also in the cultural and scientific fields. Our work not only entails us to develop the network between the Arabs and the Austrians but also to enrich and enlarge the balance of trade between the two parties by 22% to reach 4.7 billion Euros. Moreover, we are also working on opening channels of dialogue between the Chamber and the European Union in order to reach an agreement on the implementation of a number of developmental projects based upon a joint plan of action.
On querying AACC about the emerging potential markets in the Arab world, he responds, “Years ago, a number of Arab countries, in particular the Gulf States, began to open their doors to investment in real estate and technical support. These countries have achieved major breakthroughs in the areas, which contributed to the recovery of the Arab economy significantly, and drew the attention of investors in Europe to the fact that oil is not the only wealth in the Arab countries.”He also pointed out that Qatar hosting the FIFA World cup in 2022 could be the culmination of the economic and technical opening up towards the Arab countries.
Mr. Khouja then takes the initiative to elaborate on the depth of European- Arab relations over the years. Explains he, “Despite historical, geographical and cultural difference, The Arab-European trade relations have always been strong and continue to do so with the support of both the regions. There are countries such as UAE, Qatar, Libya and Saudi Arabia that have huge investments in various European countries, including cooperation between the International Company for Petroleum Investments, IPIC and the Austrian national oil company, OMV. The current President of the Austro Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Richard Schenz in his capacity as CEO of the OMV, has played a leading role in the eighties in major investment deals. From the Europe’s point of view, the EU has also created different packages to support the economic and trade cooperation interface, for example, bilateral projects Twinning Projects as well as economic programs for the Mediterranean countries.”
Encouraging potential Austrian entrepreneurs and investors into Arab countries, Mr. Khouddar goes on to commend the work and activities of the Austrian trade commission to attract new investors into the region. Says he,” Austrian investors should not fear the global competition in the market because they are unmatched in terms of technology and innovation. However, I urge them to study the Arab market before venturing here to get the desired results. Moreover, Dr. Wolfgang Penzias has an extensive network of contacts, and the level of activity generated in the UAE reflects Dr Penzias and his team’s acclaimed performance. I wish him and all those who work at the Representation more success and achievement and hope that the coming period will yield more outstanding contributions to support the Austro-Arab relations.”

AACC calendar 2011:
1)Annual Arab Austrian Economic Forum- 5th forum- 2011
Focus: discussion of opportunities and possibilities in the field of health-care, and innovations in the medical field, tourism, health, the technique of building and managing hospitals.
2)Round table conference 2011-10-04
Focus: To monitor the changes and economic developments in Tunisia after the revolution broke out this year.
3)Trip to Graz, a city in Austria, for representatives of Arab Embassies
Focus: Most advanced Austrian companies specializing in the areas of “green energy”, and the possibilities of benefiting of treatment technologies and recycling of waste.

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