Companies pitch MENA region services at London conference
London - More than 3,500 visitors attended Going Global Live in London, an event showcasing non-Arab companies offering services to the Middle East and North Africa region.
Among them were PIB Insurance Brokers, Mauve Group and ETK Group, all of which noted key areas of growth in the region.
“Our clients send a multitude of things to various industries, both private buyers as well as government organisations,” said Richard Miller, director and head of trade credit and surety at PIB Insurance Brokers.
“We have a number of clients who are sending metals and raw materials into the Middle East as there is a lot of construction being built there. Humanitarian relief is also being sent into Libya and Egypt.”
John R. Ellis, chief operating officer of Mauve Group, a consultancy that has previously exhibited at Going Global Live, explained how Mauve’s business has expanded.
“For a long time, we have had a company in Dubai and we have been using Dubai to operate in Abu Dhabi,” he said. “Abu Dhabi is a bit sensitive to having people with visas coming from Dubai. We thought it’s better to have a local company in Abu Dhabi itself because it gives us a presence there that makes us more authentic as an organisation in the UAE. Although they are all one country, each emirate has its own identity.”
ETK Group, which helps businesses expand in Africa and helps African businesses go global, said many businesses lack the deep understanding of regional contexts.
“We noticed people don’t understand Africa and Africans as well as they should so, as a result of that, Africans tend to stay within their own countries,” said Bolaji Sofoluwe, director of ETK Group.
“We are your sales and implementation force on the ground for companies going in and out. We also provide business education. We have 32 specialisations that are UK accredited at level four and six,” she added.
The company has major operations in North Africa, Sofoluwe noted.
“We have representatives for our Centre of African Business Education in Egypt, one in Cairo and one in Alexandria. From Egypt, we can work in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria,” she said. “We are hoping to spread our wings more but those are our four main markets in North Africa. We might open an office in Morocco as one of our representatives from Ghana is there a lot so she is thinking to set up [in] Marrakech.”
“We inform people about specific sectors in our training programme,” Sofoluwe added. “One of them is early years education and how to set up international schools and run it, which curriculum to choose. Last year our director visited Egypt and set up a conference of 300-400 proprietors of private schools. It was interesting to hear the experiences they had. She connected them with UK private schools so they can share ideas and knowledge and have exchange programmes.”
ETK Group also encourages African countries to rebuild old ties.
“We also like to educate people that North Africa is safer than they think,” she said. “Nigeria and Libya had strong ties before the ‘Arab spring.’ We want to encourage intra-Africa investment because Africans understand Africa better than anyone else so we are saying to the Nigerians why don’t you go back into North Africa and expand your businesses there and attract foreign investment into those areas?”
Going Global Live returns to Excel London May 16- 17. Tickets can be booked at www.goinggloballive.co.uk. For information on exhibit space, contact Simon Chicken at 0117 907 3520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.