Going Global Live brings Middle East trade to London

Sunday 05/06/2016
A view of the event

London - More than 3,350 visi­tors attended Going Global Live in Lon­don, an event bring­ing together British and Middle Eastern companies looking to forge new links and ex­pand their business.
Backed by UK Trade and Invest­ment, a government department, more than 40 companies exhibited at the two-day event in May.
There was a focus in particular on countries from the Gulf. Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) provides companies with li­cences, offices, accommodation in the United Arab Emirates’ most northerly emirate. The emirate-owned free trade zone aims to encourage foreign investment in Ras Al Khaimah, which is about an hour’s drive north of Dubai and hosts more than 8,000 companies from 50 different countries.
“We are usually preferred by start-up companies that want to use the UAE as their international hub. An example is a company that uses dismantled products to create something new that can use our hub as an assembly unit,” said Gu­lay Avci, RAK FTZ regional manager in Turkey.
Capital International Group Dubai is a UAE business consul­tancy.
“Our target market is mostly Eu­ropean countries, especially east­ern Europeans, such as Russians,” Capital International Group Dubai consultant Shafeeq Ahmed said. “However, we do have an interna­tional client base that are in real es­tate and service providing. We help both on-shore and off-shore com­panies. We help with investor visas including their family’s visas.
“We have established an office in India and Germany and would like one in London.”
Fujairah Free Zone represented the UAE’s most easterly emirate, aiming to attract foreign invest­ment and, like other free trade zones in the country, helps foreign investors bypass local laws and re­tain 100% foreign ownership.
“Many of our clients just want to be in the region to test the water,” said Sharief al-Awadhi, the chief ex­ecutive officer at the Fujairah Free Zone. “We aim to get more clients from food processing and manufac­turing to add sustainability. They could be a branch of an existing company or we can help merge two existing companies.
“As the Expo 2020 is coming to the UAE, we are expanding our strategies to attract foreign invest­ment. We have a strong base with petrochemical companies.”
Arabian Enterprise Incubators Saudi, which also exhibited at the event, aids foreign companies ex­pand into Saudi Arabia, helping with visas, commercial registration and connecting to Saudi clients.
AEI Saudi said it has 190 clients from across the world. The com­pany has strong links with British trade groups, such as UKTI, Invest­ment Northern Ireland, Scottish Development International and the Welsh government. Other clients are from India, the United States and Europe.
“There is a perception that Sau­di Arabia is too hard to deal with but, in fact, by talking to Saudis, you start to understand how Saudi Arabia works,” AEI Saudi founder Adam Hosier said. “I often hear that Saudi Arabia is very slow but, if you think about it, Saudi Arabia has gone from literally desert to a mul­tinational country with three urban centres. Six million people live in Riyadh. They have done all of this in 100 years, so actually, Saudi Ara­bia does move very quickly.”
He added: “Saudi Arabia can be challenging as it seems opaque from the outside so it can seem hard to Google research who to deal with. Our local knowledge can give our clients the right contacts so when they travel to Saudi Arabia, they know who to talk to. Saudi Arabia is a very face-to-face market so you have to get into the market to understand the market.
“I would like the relationship be­tween the West and the Arab world to be better. If we can trade togeth­er well then we can communicate with each other better too.”
Venture Alliance Consultancy (VAC) is the official and exclusive partner for the Ajman Free Zone for Europe, helping companies set up in Ajman, another UAE emirate north of Dubai. It also exhibited at the event, trying to attract British companies.
“We want to make it easier and more transparent for British com­panies to expand their trade into the Middle East. We are the one-stop shop for everything,” said Ria Kayani, VAC’s managing director for international business.
“Ajman is one of the fastest grow­ing free zones. It is building its own airport this year. Ajman is probably the quickest and easiest to set up a company in. In 48 hours we can set a company up. The amount of paperwork is a lot less and there is less waiting time for approvals.”
Going Global Live returns to Olympia London November 17th- 18th. Tickets can be booked at www.goinggloballive.co.uk. For information on exhibit space, con­tact Simon Chicken at 0117 907 3520 or simon.chicken@prysmgroup. co.uk.