8th April, 2019
A trade mission from Makkah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, visited the Arab British Chamber of Commerce on 8th April and were welcomed by the Rt Hon Baroness Symons, Chairman of the ABCC, and Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi, ABCC Deputy CEO and Secretary General.
The delegation of around forty company executives and officials from Makkah Chamber of Commerce represented a wide spectrum of industries including construction and real estate, education and training, healthcare, the food industry, hotels, hospitality, ICT and law. The delegation was headed by Mr Hisham Kaaki, Chairman, Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They were in London to meet potential investors and business partners from the UK with a view to deepening the collaboration between Britain and the KSA.
Rt Hon Baroness Symons, chairing the meeting, presented greetings from the ABCC’s new CEO, Mr Bander Reda, who was in Saudi Arabia. She urged members of the Makkah delegation to attend the forthcoming Arab British Economic Summit which would provide an important platform for Arab-British engagement.
Mr Kaaki wished Mr Reda every success in his appointment and looked forward to working closely with the ABCC in future. He described the delegation as an opportunity to meet UK business people and develop relations.
He highlighted the major economic activities of the region as those directly and indirectly connected to the Holy City and the need to provide services for the large number of visitors taking part in the Haj. The region’s need for tourism infrastructure to accommodate the increasing number of visitors created a wide range of opportunities for business.
Makkah officials were determined to improve the quality of the services for visitors and for the two million strong local population by launching a series of strategic initiatives covering sectors such as hospitality, real estate, retail, housing, education and healthcare.
Mr Kaaki pointed out the changes in the Saudi labour market including the rising number of women in the workforce. He urged British companies to take advantage of the new opportunities emerging under the Saudi Vision 2030. The Kingdom was working to harness the efforts of business and investors to successfully fulfil the aims of Vision 2030 and he looked forward to broader horizons in the trade with the UK.
In his presentation, Mr El-Idrissi stressed that more needed to be done to make UK companies aware of the potential of doing business in the Arab World and the KSA in particular. Explaining the role of the ABCC, he focused on the services available to Saudi businesses seeking to enter the UK market or succeed in working with British partners.
The ABCC services tailored to meet the needs of Saudi business people consist of assistance with investors’ visas; UK property searches; concierge services; business visa support letters from the Chamber; help with UK company formation; research and translation services.
The ABCC could also offer international trade training courses in collaboration with the Institute of Export, cultural training courses customised to meet business requirements, and a new MBA in conjunction with Chester University would soon be launched. Finally, the ABCC premises offered a range of venue hire options for holding business events of various scale.
Mr Chris Innes-Hopkins, Executive Director, Saudi British Joint Business Council, explained what his organisation was doing to advance the UK-KSA trade relationship through working closely with SAGIA, the Department for International Trade and British chambers and in cooperation with the ABCC.
A series of presentations followed by British and UK-based companies from various key sectors such as IT, computer technology, renewable energy, construction and engineering who were working in the KSA or preparing to work in the market.
Companies, with products and services of interest to Makkah, making presentations, were Honeywell Building Solutions; Alium Medical Ltd; Rider Levett Bucknall; Ricardo Energy & Environment; Big Innovation Centre; Newtecnic; SAVORTEX, Geotourist Ltd; PK2M & Consilience Ventures; and Movement Intelligence.
The event concluded with one-to-one meetings and discussions between the Saudi executives and their UK counterparts to explore future collaboration.Back To 2019 Gallery