Going Global Live makes Middle East pitch
London - About 3,600 business owners and entrepreneurs recently joined a rich stream of trade and international business expansion experts at Going Global Live, a two-day exhibition and conference in London.
Participants enjoyed a showcase of the international opportunities available to British businesses targeting overseas growth and trade. With support from the Department for International Trade, the Institute of Export and Open to Export, among others, the event aimed to help small and medium-size British enterprises navigate foreign markets.
Several businesses at the event in November focused on the Middle East.
Mohammed al-Musharrekh, director of Invest in Sharjah, said his organisation was exhibiting to present a new image about doing business in Sharjah.
“Free zones have been established in Sharjah since 1995 but we, as an investment promotion agency, have formed recently and are promoting Sharjah under a new brand,” he said. “The new identity sends a clear message that Sharjah is now focusing on attracting new direct investments from the world.”
Invest in Sharjah promoted health care, renewable energy, environment, logistics and transportation and tourism as well as the new free zone. Musharrekh said free zones in publishing, health care, research, technology and media would soon be established in the UAE emirate.
Musharrekh particularly emphasised opportunities in manufacturing.
‘The manufacturing sector has a lot of opportunities as Sharjah is known as the manufacturing hub of the UAE. We have more than 35% of that industry in the UAE,” he said,
Proven SA, which focuses on investment in Saudi Arabia, specialising in immigration, employment regulations and logistics, also had an exhibit at the conference.
’We want to make sure our clients are compliant and we are able to communicate between the foreign investors and the government,” said Osman Qureshi, an account manager with Proven SA.
MENA Associates, a political risk consulting firm based in London, provides information services, such as publications, for people looking to invest in the Middle East.
‘We look at events that are happening in the region. We have a long history of studying each region. We provide analysis and give predictions of what could happen in the future. We want to help companies prepare their business strategies or just to be aware of what’s going on,” said Stefano Ghirardi, regional manager for MENA Associates.
“We have offices on the ground, which helps us go beyond the news and we try to focus on what could help businesses specifically. The news can give a lot of information and we try to filter it into one publication on what is relevant for a business.”
Horizon International Cargo, another exhibitor at the London conference, works with companies to get their products where they want them to go.
“The trend we have seen in the Middle East is there are a lot of British manufacturers and brands that want to get into this market more and more,” Horizon International Cargo product manager Tony Leach said.
“The Middle East has transformed from being a banking region to a trading region where [companies] can promote and sell their products. Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the main countries we deal with. When one or two British brands establish themselves in the region, the rest will follow.
“North America has an established retail consumption with a huge population. Same with China. People still see the Middle East as a new region even though it is not a new region. However, as a European, they see they have already conquered those parts of the world and now the Middle East is seen as an area to expand their brands,” Leach said.
He gave examples of his firms’ British clients marketing their products in Dubai.
“We have a British manufacturer client of very high-quality televisions. They are unique because they are waterproof,” Leach said. “A number of the main hotel chains in Dubai are investing in this equipment to the point where they have TVs in their swimming pools or hot tubs,” Leach said.
“Future projects we see are consumer projects in the Middle East. They market it very quickly through ecommerce channels and social media. We have a company that produces coding for children. The company has only been around for two and a half years and they are now valued at 70 million.”
The next Going Global Live event is scheduled for May 17th- 18th at ExCeL London alongside the second Foreign Direct Investment Expo. If you’re interested in exhibiting, please contact Simon Chicken on 0117 907 3520 or simon. firstname.lastname@example.org