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AACCI Trade Mission to MENA 2019

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Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates 20 days A$4,800.00
1 - 20 APRIL, 2019
Register before 1 Apr 19 to hold your spot

Description

The Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry (AACCI) Trade Mission

Bahrain 1 - 3 April 2019

Saudi Arabia  3 - 7 April 2019

UAE 7 - 11 April 2019

Egypt 11 - 15 April 2019

Tunisia 15 - 17 April 2019

Morocco 17 - 20 April 2019 (inclusive)

Grains, Stockfeed, Dairy, Tourism, Education & Training, ICT, Logistics Software, Cyber Security, Construction & Infrastructure, Mining, Agribusiness and Agritechnology, Environmental Technologies, Health & Pharmaceuticals, Aesthetic Cosmetics - all these industries and more will join us for specially curated meeting programs and site visits.

Participants will gain new insights through high level engagement with Governments, Chambers of Commerce, and Industry associations in each country, along with ample interface with counterparts and prospective clients.

AACCI fills a unique role in Australia's engagement with the MENA region. Our prestigious membership of the Union of Arab Chambers grants us extensive and profound relationships with all 22 countries of the Arab League.

Our focus is to give context to your business interests, and to assist you in confident expression of your unique offering in these markets.

The AACCI Trade Mission to MENA 2019 is unique in the market place.

We look forward to welcoming you into this exciting initiative and working with you to reach your personal and commercial objectives.

Best Regards,

Roland Jabbour OAM

President & National Chairman

Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry (AACCI)

AACCI Programs @ 28 March 2019

PLEASE NOTE: The Ministries, Government agencies, and Chambers of Commerce in each country are matching meetings with your business objectives with our diligent supervision.

Bahrain

Arrive Mon 1st April: DUBAI-BAHRAIN (EMIRATES) DXB BAH 08:30 08:45 EK 837

Hotel: Gulf Hotel

Day One Mon 1 April

11:00am Welcome Forum with Bahrain Economic Development Fund (BEDF) and Networking

12:00pm TAMKEEN & KPMG presentations on 'Doing Business in Bahrain'

1:00pm BEDF hosted Lunch

2:00pm Pesentation by Ross Bray, Trade & Investment Commissioner, Bahrain, KSA, Oman, Egypt.

3:00pm B2B Meetings/site visits (e.g. Agribusiness Park, Bahrain Industrial Park, Medical, Bahrain Steel)

5:00pm Bahrain Fort at sunset

6:30pm Briefing in hotel

7:00pm  Event TBA

Day Two Tues 2 April

9:00am Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI)

12:00pm Lunch in Bushido restaurant in Seef Area with the BCCI Board of Directors

2:00pm B2B Meetings/site visits (incl. Mondalez Factory to showcae Bahrain's capacity for food processing; Training & Education Centre; Bahrain Management Society)

4:30pm Guided Visit to Bahrain Museum

7:00pm Free evening

Day Three Wed 3 April

8:00 B2B meetings/site visits 

11:30am Depart to Airport

BAHRAIN-RIYADH (GULF AIR) BAH RUH 13:50 15:00 GF 189

Saudi Arabia

Arrive Wed 3rd April: BAHRAIN-RIYADH (GULF AIR) BAH RUH 13:50 15:00 GF 189

Hotel: Braira Al Wezarat

Day One Wed 3 April

5:30pm Delegation Briefing in hotel

6:30pm TBA

8:00pm Reception Dinner (TBC)

Day Two Thurs 4 April

10:00am Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce & Industry Forum & Networking

12:00 pm Lunch

1:00 pm Business delegates to meet with Saudi Business Women Council and businesswomen members

2:30pm Visits to Ministries/departments/sites visits

4:00pm B2B meetings

8:00pm Dinner and networking

Day Three Fri 5 April  (HOLIDAY)

Visit to King Abdulaziz Museum (optional but highly encouraged)

Lunch TBA

4:00pm Visit to Masmak Fort and souq (optional but highly encouraged)

7:00pm Event TBA

Day Four Sat 6 April (GOVT DEPT HOLIDAY)

10:00am B2B meetings / Site visits as appropriate

12:30 pm Lunch at leisure

3:00pm B2B meetings

6:00 pm Reception and dinner with KSA VIP guests hosted by Australian Ambassador HE Radwan Jadwaat at the Residence, Diplomatic Quarter, followed by a Briefing & information sharing with Australian expats

Day Five Sun 7 April

8:30am B2B meetings / Site visits as appropriate

3:00pm Depart to Airport

RIYADH-DUBAI (EMIRATES) RUH DXB 18:15 20:40 EK 814

UAE

Arrive 7th April: RIYADH-DUBAI (EMIRATES) RUH DXB 17:50 20:40 EK 814

Hotel: Rove Downtown

Day One Sun 7 April

Arrive Dubai @ 20:40 EK 814

Check into hotel

Day Two Mon 8 April - Dubai

8:00am Dubai Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Forum & Networking (Department of Economic Development)

09:30am Drive to Dubai South for presentation, tour and refreshments.

12:00pm Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce Networking and B2B meetings

3:30pm Visit to Sheikh Zayed Mosque (optional)

5:30pm Australian Embassy Cocktail Reception at Ambassador’s Residence Abu Dhabi (Al Gurm Resort)

8:00pm Return to Dubai

Day Three Tues 9 April  - Abu Dhabi

8:30am Drive to Sharjah Chamber of Commerce Forum for Forum, including Emirates Businesswomen Council - Networking, B2B meetings

12noon Lunch hosted by Sharjah Chamber

1:00pm Drive to Ajman Chamber of Commerce & Industry for Forum & B2B meetings

3:00pm Return to Dubai (hotel)

4:00pm VIP entry to Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) Expo & networking

6:00pm Event & Networking with Abu Dhabi Business Group and Australian Business Council Dubai, Austrade

8:00pm Return to hotel/ free evening

Day Four Wed 10 April – Fujairah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah

07:00am Drive to Ras Al Khaimah Chamber of Commerce for Forum & Networking

11:00am Drive to Fujairah Chamber of Commerce for Forum & Networking + Lunch

2:00pm Tour Fujairah Port

3:00pm Return to Dubai

6:30pm Australian Business Council Dubai (ABCD) networking event in QWERTY Restaurant Media One Hotel (in Media City, just opposite the Amphitheatre)

9:30pm Return to hotel.

Day Five Thurs 11 April

9:00am Depart to Airport

DUBAI-CAIRO (Egypt Air) DXB CAI 11:55 13:35 MS 902

Egypt

Arrive 11th April: DUBAI-CAIRO (Egypt Air) @ 13:35pm.

Hotel: Steigenberger Al Tahrir

Day One Thurs 11 April

4:00pm Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Commerce Forum + Networking

6:00pm Check into hotel

7:00pm Cairo Chamber of Commerce & Industry Event & Networking

Day Two Fri 12 April (HOLIDAY IN EGYPT)

9:00am Visit to Giza Pyramids / Cairo Museum

12:30 pm Lunch TBC

2:00pm Guided tour of Cairo New City and site visits in Industrial Park

5:00pm Visit Khan Al Khalili / free evening

Day Three Sat 13 April (HOLIDAY IN EGYPT)

8:00am Drive to Alexandria (3 hours)

11:00am Alexandria Business Association Forum & Networking in Alexandria

B2B meetings as appropriate

5:00pm Return to Cairo

8:00pm Dinner on the Nile (TBC) with networking

Day Four Sun 14 April

9:00am GAFI forum & Networking

12:00pm  Briefing on Suez Economic Zone

3:30 pm Forum with Egyptian Businessmen’s Association (EBA),  a not-for-profit organization established 40 years ago comprising 1,300 large and medium enterprises and enjoying Protocols of Cooperation with 75 countries around the world. AACCI will sign a Protocol of Cooperation with the EBA and delegates will have B2B meetings

7:00pm Briefing by Australian Ambassador HE Glenn Miles at Residence in Zamalek and Reception with VIP guests.

Day Five Mon 15 April

6:00am Depart to Airport

CAIRO-TUNIS (EGYPT AIR) @ 08:20am

 

Tunisia

Arrive 15th April: CAIRO-TUNIS (EGYPT AIR) CAI TUN 08:20 10:35 MS 843

Hotel: Royal Victoria

Day One Mon 15 April

Check in Hotel

3:00 Meeting with HE Mr. Omar Behi Minister of Trade

4:30pm Meeting with CEO of CEPEX (Export Promotions Center)

6:00pm  Check into hotel

7:00pm Evening at leisure / B2B meetings

Day Two Tues 16 April

8:30am  Meeting with Mr Hatem Ferjani, Secretary of State for Economic Diplomacy

10:30am Meeting with President of UTICA (Tunisian Confederation of Trade, Industry & Handicrafts)

12:00pm Business Forum at UTICA - B2B meetings

1:30pm Lunch hosted

3:00pm Meet with HE Mr. Slim Feriani Minister of Industry and SMES

4:30pm Meeting with Chairman of FIPA (Foreign Investment Promotion Agency)

6:30pm Evening at leisure / B2B meetings

Day Three Wed 17 April

6:00am Depart to Airport

TUNIS-CASABLANCA (TUNIS AIR) TUN CMN 08:25 11:10 TU 711

Morocco

Arrive TUNIS-CASABLANCA (TUNIS AIR) TUN CMN 08:25 11:10 TU 711

Hotel: Farah Rabat

Day One Wed 17 April

12:30pm Lunch in Casablanca

2:30pm Meeting Mr Salah Eddine Mezouar, President of the Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc (CGEM) / Meeting with Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP)

4:00pm Drive to Rabat, check into hotel

6:00pm Delegation briefing in hotel

Evening event TBA

Day Two Thurs 18 April

10:00am Welcome Forum - presentations by Moroccan hosts and Australian Head of Delegation, Networking

12:30pm Lunch

2:30pm Visits to Ministries/departments/sites relevant to each industry  + B2B meetings in Rabat

6:00pm Briefing by Australian Ambassador HE Berenice Owen-Jones

7:00pm Reception by Australian Ambassador with VIP local guests.

Day Three Fri 19 April (HOLIDAY)

Free morning / Visit to Bou Regeg/ Sale medina

4:00pm Visit to Rabat Medina

Morocco-Australia Business Council event TBA

Day Four Sat 20 April

Drive to Meknes to attend the Salon International de L ’Agriculture au Maroc

10:30am Official Meeting with Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries HE Aziz Akhanouch

2:00pm Visit Les Celiers de Meknes one of Morocco's oldest wineries. Meet Mrs. Rita Maria Zniber, CEO of DIANA Holding

8:00pm Farewell dinner and networking

Day Five Sun 21 April

Delegation departs in accordance with individual arrangements

***

NOTE:

·      Delegation Briefings in Hotels will be attended by Austrade Officer responsible in each country who will brief the group and be on hand to attend meetings, as requested.

·      At each briefing Fiona Hill will run through the country program.

·      Assistance is available to every individual who wishes to make alternative arrangements at any time in the program, as opportunities arise for them.

·      Several AACCI Board and Staff are Arabic and French speakers

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AACCI Trade Mission: Vital Points of Difference

Our AACCI Trade Mission 2019 will have several major Points of Difference with the average trade visit.

Our combined experience tells us that offshore business-as-usual is no longer good enough, while the Governments of the Middle East and North Africa tell us that AACCI has a unique role to play in promoting and empowering cultural and trade exchange with the Australia Pacific region.

We aim to ensure that you get interface with counterparts appropriate to YOUR project, and adequate support to coach realistic responses and sustainable relationships.

 The AACCI Trade Mission 2019 Points of Difference include:

·      Country contexts – so that YOUR unique place within its market is made evident.

·      Business-to-Business meetings, networking, site visits - so you understand what each country offers YOU.

·      Women-to-Women encounters – because women sometimes do business a little differently.

·      Cultural content – so you get to know what each country values most.

·      3 days in each country – so you get plenty of face-to-face with potential partners /clients.

The AACCI Board are determined to build on the best of Australian trade visits as we harness our long experience of brokering meetings and events with the Arab League Countries to provide you with an experience of the region that is rich and extraordinary.

We know this is not what always happens on trade visits. 

Which is why this is NOT your average trade mission.

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Are You Eligible for Funding?

AACCI will NOT arrange funding for you to join this the AACCI Trade Mission MENA 2019.

But we assure you that this Mission is exactly the sort of project Federal and State Governments will support.

Travel's not cheap. Export market visits demand a big investment of time and money.

Contact Stuart Smith at Vebiz Grants Consultancy for your free, no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for a grant, award, or subsidy to support your participation in the AACCI Trade Mission 2019.

Just remember to tell them you're with AACCI.

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Australian Foreign Policy: the Middle East & North Africa

Our AACCI Research Intern, University of Melbourne International Relations Masters Candidate, Stephen Di Lorenzo, prepared White Paper for AACCI in order to analyse an area of Australian foreign policy that he believed had not been given sufficient focus and attention as part of Australia’s foreign policy outlook in the Federal Government's 2017 publication.

Stephen's work focuses on countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region that present growing importance to Australia’s foreign policy framework and future trade relations in the coming decades, and it seeks to inform the greater development of commercial relations between Australia and the MENA.

NOTE: The analysis and policy recommendations in this report reflect the independent research and work of the author, and do not necessarily indicate the views or policy stance of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry (AACCI).

Access Stephen Lorenzo's White Paper here.

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Bahrain News

Bahrain just may be MENA's best kept secret.

Built on a deep history of trade, Bahrain is strategically located in the Persian Gulf with a land bridge to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It offers a sophisticated financial services infrastructure and a mature logistics network with easy access the US$1.6 trillion Gulf countries' market.

Bahrain offers advanced ICTI infrastructure, 100% foreign ownership, and business friendly regulations - along with a comfortable lifestyle for expatriate communities.

In the first three quarters of 2017 alone, Bahrain received over US$340 million in foreign investment with companies like Huawei, Amazon Web Services, DHL, Mondelez and American Express choosing Bahrain as the preferred location for key regional functions.

Australia's current trade with Bahrain is mainly in the export of meat and wheat to Bahrain, with imports of aluminum and fertilizers. Australia ranks eighth in Bahrain’s principal import sources.

The 2017 ABS data indicates that Australia’s investment in Bahrain equaled AU$57 million; and Bahrain’s investment in Australia equaled AU$24 million.

The AACCI Trade Mission visit will explore how your business might capture opportunities created by upcoming initiatives in renewable energy, logistics and a Fintech regulatory sandbox.

We are proud and privileged to welcome the Economic Development Board (EDB) Bahrain - an investment promotion agency with overall responsibility for attracting investment into the Kingdom and supporting initiatives to enhance the investment climate - as an AACCI Corporate Member.

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Egypt

Egypt is the most densely populated country in the MENA region and has the third largest economy – after the KSA and UAE. It holds a unique place in Africa historically but also in contemporary life having the third largest population in the entire African continent (after Nigeria and Ethiopia).

Egypt is best known in Australia for its pyramids. Much less known is that Egypt manufactures and exports all of the UK’s double decker buses, has the largest carpet factory in the world (Oriental Weavers), hosts the entire garment manufacture of Levi jeans and the biggest fashion houses of Europe, and makes all the furniture for the Four Seasons hotel chain. Also, it’s locally made Asfour crystal is more valuable and more widely used that Swarovski Crystal.

Egypt has the most varied economy in the Middle East with agriculture, tourism, industry and the services sector contributing almost equally to GDP. While Egypt’s bureaucracy remains huge, government employment is being reduced in ways similar to the economies of the Gulf, with the result that education and training and other forms of knowledge transfer are in extremely high demand.

Women in Egypt occupy positions across all sectors and levels of management, and currently every one of Egypt’s Industry Export Councils is headed by a woman.

The Suez Canal Economic Zone encompasses 6 ports over 460km2 and apart from construction is looking to partner with Vocational Education Providers for onsite education and skills training.

Food, health, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, ICT and education and vocational training in all fields offer excellent export opportunities.

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Expo 2020 Dubai

Early 2018 Australia announced official participation in Expo 2020 Dubai that is expected to attract 25 million visitors from over 180 countries with an estimated 70% international footfall.

‘Expo 2020 is an opportunity to showcase Australian culture, ingenuity and innovation . . . We will work to make the most of this opportunity . . . and to help Australian companies capitalise on opportunities . . .’ former Foreign Minister Julia Bishop (Media Release 25 March 2018)

Australia and other countries will it’s own pavilion at Expo 2020 sitting alongside three major pavilions representing the main themes of the event - Mobility, Sustainability, and Opportunity.

Running from October 2020 to April 2021 and encompassing all other exhibitions that take place in Dubai during that period, Expo 2020 will provide Australian businesses with a unique and superlative platform to forge global collaborations and create truly global footprints.

Now in the development stage, the project management and construction of Expo 2020 already offer significant opportunities for Australian companies, and some have already won Expo-related contracts in architecture, construction and logistics.

With more than USD$9.4 billion in investment in Expo 2020, the incentives for participation are extremely attractive. For example Siemens has committed to transfer operations from Munich to District 2020, making Dubai the company’s HQ.

The UAE government is equally committed to transparency and inclusivity, pledging 20% of primary and subcontracts to SMEs with zero tender bonds, 25% advanced payment on services and 50% on goods, and a payment in 30 days policy.

Expo Live Innovation Grants are available to promote smaller entities and innovations in need of commercialization, with a particular interest in supporting synergistic relationships between large businesses and SMEs and entrepreneurs.

The opportunities are limitless!

Architectural, construction, engineering, urban planning, facilities management, consultancy services and training (retail, food logistics, service delivery), clean energy and waste management, blockchain, solutions to food waste and food packaging, food franchises, health and sciences SMEs and entrepreneurs, transport, renewables, and cultural and artistic events . . . to name just a few.

AACCI is a key collaborator in Expo 2020 and on hand to support and promote your participation.

Our AACCI Trade Mission to MENA 2019 will introduce your offering to Dubai and showcase Australia as a critical partner in the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East.

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G20 Saudi Arabia

Each year the Government of 20 Countries (aka G20) holds a G20 Summit to discuss global financial stability and all related to it, and the host country nominates a particular focus for the agenda. In the G20 Summit 2017, for example, the host country Germany chose to focus on development partnerships with Africa.

Now it is Saudi Arabia’s turn to host the G20 Summit.

Saudi Arabia is the only Arab country – and member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – in the G20 and is one of only two Muslim-majority countries, the other being Turkey.

As an Arab and as Muslim nation, it’s very significant historically and geopolitically that the G20 Summit for 2020 will be hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

While to date the focus and agenda of G20 2020 have not been set by the Saudi hosts, the opportunities for Australian business are crystal clear.

A great many events, trade visits, and Ministerial meetings will run throughout the year of the G20 Summit, culminating in the final summit in Riyadh. The scope for Australia’s participation is almost without limit for both large and small to medium enterprises.

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia boasts the largest economy in the MENA region. Home to Islam’s most holy sites and the world’s largest reserves of commercially produced oil, Saudi Arabia has come to dominate the regional economic landscape and play an increasingly visible role in the global economy, international business, politics, and cultural production.

Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 Economic Transformation Program was launched in April 2016 to provide guidelines for reforms that aim to increase diversification of the Saudi economy, stimulate private-sector investment in new industries, and open up the kingdom to international investors.

One of the flagship initiatives is the US$500B ultra high tech mega city project called NEOM (aka Neo Mostaqbal – meaning New Future), launched late 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, that promises enormous opportunity across all sectors. With more than $1.4tn worth of major projects planned or underway, Saudi Arabia is home to almost half of all projects planned in the GCC, and KSA’s rapidly-growing population of over 32 million is driving huge demand for every kind of physical and social infrastructure, consumables, and goods and services.  

Almost 50% of the KSA national (not expatriate) population is under the age of 20, and almost 60% of university graduates are female. Women are now supported to engage in a greater variety of work roles, opening greater opportunities for Australian businesses to provide female-centric goods and services.

The prevalence of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension combined with their spending power means that the Kingdom’s healthcare sector is growing faster than any other country in the Middle East.

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Vision 2030

You can read the official details of Saudi Vision 2030 here: 

http://vision2030.gov.sa/en

2030 Key Goals:

·      To lower the rate of unemployment from 11.6% to 7%.


·      To increase SME contribution to GDP from 20% to 35%.


·      To increase women’s participation in the workforce from 22% to 30%.

Oil-dependent Saudi Arabia has developed a long-vision blueprint to diversify its economy and develop public service sectors, and to transform its social structure in the process.

In a country that relies on crude oil exports for more than 70% of government revenues, under this new 2030 Vision non-oil government revenues are projected to increase six-fold to SAR1tn by the year 2030.

The Saudi Vision 2030 hangs on three key pillars of development of:

1)    A vibrant society

2)    A thriving economy

3)    An ambitious nation.

Each pillar has tangible goals attached to it, with outcomes pitched between 5 and 15 years, and with significantly increased participation by the private sector. 

Specific reforms focus on key non-oil sectors such as manufacturing, mining, tourism, healthcare, education, entertainment, and retail.

Each reform measure has built-in imperatives of increased youth engagement and employment. This is a matter of urgency that affects the security and economic viability of the kingdom, given that about 50% of the national population is younger than 25 years old.

It’s important to understand that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia declares itself as being the “heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds”, and sees its future direction as a geographical hub for connecting the Arabian Peninsula to the three major continents of Asia, Europe, and Africa.

As already noted, the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 themes are:

1.    A vibrant society: encompassing critical undertakings in urbanism, cultural heritage, entertainment, sports, Umrah (and Hajj), Saudi’s UNESCO heritage sites, and life expectancy.

2.    A thriving economy: meaning that general youth employment, increasing women’s presence in the workforce, international competitiveness, the Public Investment Fund, Foreign Direct Investment, the private sector, and non-oil exports are key imperatives.

3.    An ambitious nation: demanding greater government efficiency and effectiveness, and support for greater household savings, the establishment of not-for-profits, and a culture of volunteering.

Within Saudi Vision 2030 sits the National Transformation Program – announced in June 2016 - which sets out the goals and targets to be achieved by the Kingdom by 2020. In each e 5-year phase achievement of a certain number of goals and targets will contribute to the Kingdom reaching the ultimate goals of Vision 2030.

Project Examples

Red Sea luxury resort project: A beach resort proposed for the Red Sea between the towns of Umluj and Al Wajh on the northern Hejazi coast will involve the reclamation of some 50 islands and 34,000 sq kms of tourism and leisure developments so progressive that it will permit women free dress (or undress) in pool and beach areas.

Entertainment sector: The General Authority for Entertainment, announced by Royal Decree, has over $2 billion invested in it already. The first public live music concert in over 25 years was held in Riyadh in May 2017 featuring American country star Toby Keith and Saudi singer Rabeh Sager. A 33,400 ha sports, culture, and entertainment complex at Al-Qidiya, south west of the capital Riyadh, will include a theme park that is due to open in 2022.  As part of Vision 2030, the 87th anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s foundation was celebrated with concerts and performances where women were for the first time allowed to enter the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.  In April 2018 Jeddah hosted the Greatest Royal Rumble at King Abdullah Sports City.

Women's rights: In January 2013, women were announced as full members of the Majlis Asha’ar – the nation’s Consultative Assembly, and in 2015 women were permitted to run for office in municipal elections. In early 2017, Saudi State Schools announced that physical education classes would be offered to both boys and girls, and that same year men and women were permitted to attend sporting events including inside sports stadiums at the same time. Perhaps the biggest news of all for entrepreneurs and investors is that in September 2017 a Royal Decree granted women the right to drive vehicles as of June 2018 – a business opportunity that has been talked about amongst female investors in Saudi Arabia for the past decade or so. Driving schools can now legally open their doors to clients.

Education & Social Change

It is generally agreed that Saudi Arabia suffers greatly from an over populated and less than efficient bureaucracy. Currently twice as many Saudi nationals work in the public sector than in the private sector. A major reason for this is that the private sector pays lower salaries and has far less job security than the public sector. Expats are willing to work for less, and are easier to fire. The challenge to get Saudi nationals to accept lower-paying jobs that almost without exception demand greater effort and commitment to longer working hours than public sector is tough indeed.

The current school education system, despite multiple reforms, lacks vibrancy and remains teacher-focused, and while university graduates are numerically great (and more than 50% female) their readiness for work is not. In short, Saudi’s population is ill prepared to become the sort of labor force the economy currently requires and increasingly will demand.

The kingdom must also address the reality that any healthy relationship between economic and political development by definition must break - or at least soften - the bond of Saudis’ tribal customs, traditions, and allegiances. In a society that holds family and the tribe as the cornerstone of identity building, moral standing, and economic advancement, the zero tolerance to corruption that is currently declared by the government is bound to be somewhat compromised.

A recently established Job Creation & Anti-Unemployment Commission aims to close the gap between the outputs of higher education and the requirements of the job market by providing greater career guidance to students and offering the sort of training that will assist them to transition into rewarding employment. At the same time Saudi Vision 2030 will build a centralized student database tracking students from early childhood through K-12 and beyond into tertiary education (higher and vocational) in order to improve education planning, monitoring, evaluation, and outcomes. The ultimate 2030 aim is to have at least five Saudi universities in the top 200 universities in international rankings.

SMEsSmall and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) contribute only 20% of Saudi’s GDP in comparison with their contribution in other advanced economies of up to 70%. Saudi Arabia is now conscious that its SMEs are hampered by slow moving and complex legal and administrative procedures, as well as suffering a chronic skills shortage. Under the Saudi Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s financial institutions are directed to achieve allocation of up to 20% of overall funding to SMEs by 2030.

A recently established SME Authority will review laws and regulations, seek to facilitate access to funding, and support young people and entrepreneurs to commercialise their ideas. It also will establish new business incubators, specialized training institutions, and venture capital funds, and support SMEs to market and export their products and services, leveraging e-commerce and collaborating with international stakeholders.

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Morocco

While Morocco has significant key mineral reserves (gold, silver, uranium, zinc, iron ore, copper and rare earth elements) it lacks the modern infrastructure required to explore and reach commercial production. Opportunities exist across the mining supply chain, including geological services, mining equipment, services and technology suppliers, exploration, mine development, engineering, minerals processing, environmental management, mine safety, research and development and community engagement.

Strong growth is projected for the MENA mining sector overall, with increased economic diversification from oil-based industries and creating job opportunities for a young population. In Morocco there is a 2020 projection of 42% more renewable energy than fossil fuel, and all new developments in the country MUST present an Energy Impact statement.

Morocco holds 75% of the world’s proven phosphate reserves and is the third largest producer with one of the largest fertilizer companies in the world that is the biggest employer in Morocco. They produce fertilizers to improve soil fertility by enhancing nutrient content and increase crop production and yields.

Morocco’s economy remains vulnerable to adverse weather conditions and is in grave need of innovative water resource management solutions, and social development, forestation and carbon reduction are all seen as interrelated imperatives.

Agriculture contributes 15% of Morocco’s GDP and provides employment for 40% of the 33 million plus population, but the country is in need of greater investment in research and commercialisation. Highly added value agricultural products also rely heavily on underground and river fed water resources, creating a need for modernizing macro (district) and micro (drip) irrigation systems that are greatly subsidized by the Government along with solar powered technology.

The geographic location of Morocco and its numerous FTAs with the EU and Africa entails a strategic advantage for Australian companies to use their know-how, technology, and genetic material to produce and export from Morocco benefiting from FTA advantages and also from counter seasonal location.

King Mohammed VI is ‘guardian of the poor’ and has an intense focus on all aspects of human development in his country. Youth employment is critical and the development of industries and of ecosystems of SMEs and education providers is in high demand to meet their needs.

The Government is implementing constructive policies to foster international trade and attract foreign investment, through the promotion of trade agreements, free trade zones, offshore zones, investment incentives, and development of modern logistics infrastructure.

French-speaking, Morocco has significant investments in resource-rich West Africa and is positioning itself as the gateway through which to enter other African mining markets.

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Ras Al Khaimah Education Zone

RAKEZ Academic Zone was established to attract and support qualified educational institutions and service providers that are committed to delivering market-driven, educational, training and professional development services that benefit RAK, the UAE, and the broader Gulf region - and offers Educational Licenses to:
·             Higher Education Providers
·             Non-Academic Infrastructure Service Providers
·             Education Support Services
·             Training Institutes
·             School / Early Learning Centre (provides plots in strategic locations on basis of long lease contracts)
·             Freelance Permit
 
For more information about the Academic Zone Educational Licenses please find link to Academic Zone Brochure.

An international university/college should be accredited by its home country accreditation body and Quality Assurance Agency and have at least 8-10 years of academic operations. It is responsible for the whole academic operation and quality assurance and should offer in RAK the same academic programs as in the home campus. In RAK it does not require the UAE Ministry of Education Accreditation.
 
The Infrastructure Service Provider (ISP) is a commercial company that will be responsible for all the non-academic affairs of the academic institutions, including infrastructure, visas, marketing, admissions, HR and any other support related areas.
 
As of today, RAK has (8) international branch campuses of the following universities offering a variety of academic degrees and programs:
 
1-     University of Bolton - UK

2-     University of West London - UK

3-     University of Stirling – UK

4-     University of Bath Spa - UK

5-     Swiss Business School – Switzerland

6-     EPFL – Research Centre - Switzerland

7-     Sarhad University of Science and Information Technology – Pakistan

8-     Birla Institute of Technology – India

AACCI Trade Mission education delegates will meet with Hussain Al Shamaa | Academic Zone Manager | Academic Zone, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone - Government of Ras Al Khaimah

Tel.: +971 7 2041194 | Mobile: +971 50 1994189
Email: h.alshamaa@rakez.com

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Tunisia

With a fascinating mix of African-Arab-Muslim-Mediterranean cultural elements, Tunisia is a modern democracy with a free press, free elections, and robust promotion of women across all sectors and levels of society. Women are represented in government and business - the newly elected Mayor of Tunis is for the first time a woman - and the country is a prominent member of the African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (AFWE).

France and Italy are Tunisia’s principle import and export markets, but trade with Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and the USA is growing. The great advantage is the fact that Tunisians are highly proficient in foreign languages and generally able to speak French, Arabic, Tunisian dialect and Berber, as well as Italian and English.

To date, most of Australia’s involvement in Tunisia has been in the oil and energy industries. But given that Tunisia is the No#2 worldwide exporter of organic products in Africa, the No#1 exporter of dates and producer of olive oil in the world, and the largest exporter of doctors in all of Africa, it is clear that there are enormous opportunities for Australian business there.

Medical Tourism (especially cosmetic) is a rapidly growing service sector. Relations with Algeria and Libya remain open (although heavily policed), with Tunisia positioned as a conduit for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of those two countries in the near future. Refined sugar is in HUGE demand (as it is throughout Africa), and so is Clean Energy technologies and Waste Water recycling know-how. Seed poverty poses a critical problem, as does the need to mechanise agricultural practice (only 2% of the overall population work in agriculture). There is a critical shortage of animal feed with the country needing to import 90% of its required poultry feed.

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United Arab Emirates

The UAE is the second largest economy in the Gulf after KSA and has a similar reliance on the export of the oil and gas, chiefly located in Abu Dhabi emirate, for government revenue. Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030 and Urban Framework 2030 focus on new industries, new cities and ports, and continued reform and promotion in education, tourism, and health. Dubai remains the leading business location in the entire Gulf region.

Dubai South is a new industrial city on the Dubai - AbuDhabi nominal border that intends to create a natural integration between the two emirates by providing full integration between ports, free zone, and airport. One critical part of the project’s success will be in having Education & Training providers located onsite.

An increasing interest in the holistic supply chain of Islamic products in all consumables, ensuring that every step in the chain is ethical, free from impurities, and sustainable, provides new market opportunities for Australians since there is a high uptake of such products by non-Muslims also.

Australia’s profile is high in the UAE, however the market is highly competitive and promoting your unique point of difference, and being prepared for a long-term commitment, are essential preconditions for success.

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Why an AACCI Trade Mission?

In March 2017 several members of AACCI’s National Board visited the UAE, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia to assess the level of business confidence in those countries and the potential opportunities for AACCI members.

The UAE is Australia’s largest trading partner in the MENA region yet the potential for growth remains exceptional. KSA is the largest economy in the region with a consumer base second only to Egypt which, together with Morocco and Tunisia demonstrates strongly positive political developments. As a result these countries now attract increasingly enthusiastic international investment in their physical infrastructures and Human Resource and capacity building.

Government and business leaders in these countries advise AACCI that our special familiarity with the political, commercial and cultural dimensions of the region provides a unique and solid platform for Australians looking to expand their commercial and strategic interests both into the African continent and Europe, and that AACCI serves as a valuable conduit for the promotion of trade and investment also from the Asia Pacific into the Middle East & North Africa, and vice versa.

‘The commercial opportunities for Australia are readily apparent. By talking face-to-face with the business and government leaders in each country we saw firsthand just how positive the signs of civil and economic development really are.’ AACCI National Chairman Roland Jabbour OAM

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Location
Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
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