Forum addresses economic changes affecting Irish businesses in Arab region

Business | Mon 7 Mar | Author – Business & Finance
Dubai Michael Theis

Irish exports to Arab markets have surpassed all forecasts with the value of goods and services topping €5.3bn in 2015 from a previous high of €4bn in 2014.

With countries and regions such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan offering considerable opportunities for Irish businesses, this year’s Arab-Irish Business Forum will examine a range of issues that could have a significant impact on those doing business or looking for new opportunities in the region.

Facing the Changes is the theme of this year’s forum, which will feature speakers from both Ireland and the Arab region who will examine the economic, political and social landscapes that are changing at pace.

Such changes include the impact of collapsing oil prices, the impending introduction of a VAT-style tax, growing populations and legal and policy changes that present not only unprecedented opportunities, but also new challenges for Irish businesses.

Galway man and long-time Dubai resident, Gerald Lawless will deliver the keynote address, drawing on his almost 40 years of experience in the Middle East and his 18 years as Jumeirah Group president and CEO.

This year’s forum will provide a platform for exploring and discussing new and emerging markets by focusing on Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.

Ahmad Younis, CEO of the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce said: “This is a unique opportunity for Irish businesses to get exposure to a wide range of insights from speakers who can offer practical advice, drawing from their own experiences to address some of the pressing issues in Middle Eastern and other Arab markets. This event is a commercial and operational imperative for anyone doing business or looking to do business in the region.”

The forum will feature presentations, Q&A sessions, practical advice and case studies and will provide delegates with an opportunity to network with senior executives from both Ireland and the Arab countries.

The event is being jointly organised by the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Bord Bia, Emirates Airline and Enterprise Ireland and supported by Clyde & Co. and Jenkinson Logistics.

The forum will take place at The Printworks, Dublin Castle on April 15th 2016.

Photo: Michael Theis