Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce

  • About the Chamber

    As a member of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for the Arab countries since 1978, the ABLCC fulfils the essential role of bridge between Belgium, Luxembourg and the Arab countries.

    A Strategic Partnership for Effective Results

    The ABLCC constantly strives to improve the services it provides to the business community. The Chamber undertakes initiatives to promote trade and investment relations between Belgium, Luxembourg and the Arab world, thereby encouraging the emergence of an economic and trade network fully integrated into the globalization process. It moreover gives member companies access to valuable business information, enabling them to take full advantage of the enormous possibilities that emerge from the complimentary market existing between the Arab world, Belgium and Luxembourg. Last, but not least, the ABLCC is strongly committed to enhancing mutual understanding between both regions on all levels, and is therefore glad to offer its support to several cultural and educational initiatives that aim for this very goal.

    With 35 years of experience in promoting Arab-Belgium-Luxembourg trade and economic cooperation, the ABLCC offers its members a quality service tailored to their needs, based on in-depth knowledge of the economic and commercial world in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Arab countries and a strong network of contacts comprising businesses, heads of states, officials, diplomats, chambers of commerce on all levels, trade associations and financial institutions.

    Our Partners

    Unity is strength. Striving to deliver a high quality contribution to the development of strong and mutually beneficial trade and investment relations between Belgium, Luxembourg and the Arab world, the ABLCC teams up with several organizations and agencies whose expertise is of particular relevance to the Chamber’s activities. In a spirit of mutual collaboration, the ABLCC and its partners provide each other with sector-specific advice and information, cooperate in the organization of events and undertake joint projects. Because what we do together, we do better.

    The ABLCC is proud to partner with the following entities:

    Union of Arab Chambers

     

    P.O.Box 11-2837, Beirut - Lebanon
    Tel : + 961 - 1 814 269/70
    Fax : + 961 -1 862 841
    Email : admin@uac.org.lb
    Website : www.uac.org.lb

     

     

    League of Arab States

     

    S.E. Pr. Lahebib ADAMI
    Ambassadeur, Chef de la Mission Permanente de la Ligue des Etats Arabes
    Avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 158 – 1050 Bruxelles
    Tel : + 32 2 675.02.28
    Fax : + 32 2 660.36.25
    E-mail: mission@arableague.be
    Website: www.lasportal.org

     

    Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce

     

    02 Rue Belliard, 1040 Brussels
    Tel : +32 2 209 05 50
    Email : info@belgianchambers.be 
    Websites : www.blcca.org & www.belgianchambers.be

     

     

    Chamber of Commerce of Luxembourg

     

    International Department
    7, Alcide de Gasperi street L-2981 Luxembourg
    Tel : +35242 39 39 315
    Fax : +352 43 83 26
    Email : international@cc.lu
    Website : www.cc.lu

     

    Brussels Invest and Export (BIE)

     

    Avenue Louise 500 / 4, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
    Tel.: + 32 2 800 40 00
    Fax: + 32 2 645 25 70
    E-mail: info@brusselsinvestexport.be (export) & info@investinbrussels.com (invest)
    Websites: www.brusselsinvestexport.be (export) & www.investinbrussels.com (invest)

     

    Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT)

     

    Gaucheretstraat 90, BE-1030 Brussels – Belgium
    Tel.: + 32 2 504 88 71
    Fax: + 32 2 504 88 70
    E-mail: invest@fitagency.be
    Website: www.investinflanders.com

     

    Walloon Export and Foreign Investment Agency (AWEX)

     

    Place Sainctelette 2, B-1080 BRussels BELGIUM
    Contact: Mr.Marc DESCHAMPS, Club Halal Manager
    E-mail: m.deschamps@awex.be
    Tel.: + 32 2 421 85 02
    Mr. Henri CHALON, Director Africa – Near&Middle East
    E-mail: h.chalon@awex.be
    Tel.: + 32 2 421 84 84
    Websites: www.awex.be & www.investinwallonia.be

     

    Enterprise Europe Network

     

    Avenue Louise 500, 1050 Bruxelles 
    Tel: +32 2 210 01 77
    Fax : +32 2 640 93 28 
    E-mail: jpm@beci.be 
    Website: www.brusselsnetwork.be

     

    United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

     

    UNRWA Representative Office to the EU: 
    Residence Palace
    8th floor, lift 23, box 107
    Rue de la Loi 155
    B-1040 Brussels
    Tel : +32 (0)2 290 34 30
    E-mail: partnerships@unrwa.org 
    Website: www.unrwa.org

     

     

    Board of Directors

    Members of the Board of Directors of the ABLCC – Belgium and Luxembourg

    • Mr. Johan BEERLANDT, Chairman of the ABLCC and CEO of BESIX
    • Mr. Marc BOGAERTS, General Manager of ACE
    • Mr. Ghislain BREYDEL, Project Manager Export Promotion at Brussels Invest & Export
    • Mr. Olivier DE BROUWER, Director-Manager at POLYTRA
    • Mr. Dominique DELATTRE, Director Middle East & Africa at AWEX
    • Mr. Frank Haak, Head of GTS Sales at BNP Paribas Fortis
    • Mr. Ghassan EJJEH, Senior Vice President at BESIX
    • Mr. Bernard GILLIOT, Executive Vice-President Global Business Development at Tractebel Engineering
    • Mr. Emmanuel VERHOOSEL, Member of the Executive Committee / Head of Commercial Banking at ING
    • Mr. Michel HANSON, President Oil, Gas & Power at Cofely Fabricom
    • Mr. Nabil JIJAKLI,Group Deputy CEO and Member of the Executive Committee at Delcredere/Ducroire
    • Mr. Patrick PARAMORE, Sales & Legal Manager at CMI
    • Mrs Evelien STAELENS, Area Middle East & North Africa at Flanders & Investment Trade (FIT)
    • Mme Edith STEIN, Head of International Trade Department of the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    • Mr. René BRANDERS, Chairman of the Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce & Industry
    • Mr. Peter VAN BLANCKENBERG,Governments and Institutions Services, Marketing and Sales at SGS Belgium
    • Mr. Wim VANOOTEGHEM, Head Bank Relations & Countries Senior Area Manager of KBC Bank
    • Mr. Koen VAN PETEGHEM, General Manager EMEA of CG Holdings Belgium NV
    • Mr. Johan VAN WASSENHOVE, Managing Director of Denys
    • Mr. Olivier WILLOCX, CEO of BECI

    Members of the Board of Directors of the ABLCC – Arab countries

    • Mr. Mustapha AMHAL, Chairman of the Federation of Moroccan CCI
    • Mr. Ali Thunayan AL-GHANIM, Chairman, Kuwait CCI
    • Mr. Jaafar Rassoul AL-HAMADANI, Chairman of the Federation of Iraqi CCI
    • Mr. Rashed AL-KAABI, Member of the Board of Directors at the Qatar CCI
    • Mr. Hassan Mohamed AL-KBOUS, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sana’a CCI
    • Mr. Saeed Saleh Saeed AL KIYUMI, Chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry
    • Mr. Khalifa Eisa M. AL KHAILI, Member of the Board of Directors, Abu Dhabi CCI
    • Mr. Faisal S. AL QURAISHI, representing the Council of Saudi CCI
    • H.E. Dr. Kamal Hassan Ali, Deputy Secretary General, Economic Affairs, League of Arab States
    • The Federation of Libyan CCIA
    • Mr. Mazen BATTERJEE, Vice-Chairmen of the Jeddah CCI
    • Mr. Mohamed EL MAZNY, Member of the Board of Directors of the Alexandria CC
    • Mr. Qaisar HIJAZIN, Secretary General of the ABLCC
    • Mr. Ghassan KHERFAN, First Vice Chairman of the Jordan CCI
    • Mr. Ameziane Mohamed MEDJKOUH, President of the CCI of Djurjura, Algeria
    • Mr. Mostafa MTALSI, Director, Banque Chaabi du Maroc – Brussels
    • Mr. Osama MUSTAFA, Member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Syrian CC
    • Mr. Bakri Yousuf OMER, Secretary General of the Federation of Sudanese Businessmen & Employers
    • Mr. Badreddine OUALI, Representative of UTICA
    • Mr. Mohamedou OULD SIDI, Vice-Chairman of the CCCIA of Mauritania
    • Mr. Shaheen Ali SHAHEEN, Secretary-General of the Union of Arab Chambers
    • Mr. Samir TAWILE, Member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of CCIA of Lebanon
    • Mr. Fouad Nicolas TRAD, Managing Director & CEO of Byblos Bank Europe.

     

    Activities & Services

    Activities:

    Legalization of Commercial Documents

    The ABLCC constitutes an important link in the certification procedure of your commercial documents destined for the Arab world. The procedure for legalizing export documents is as follows:

     

    • Have your documents (invoices and certificates of origin) certified by your local Chamber of Commerce.
    • Have your invoices and certificates of origin certified by the ABLCC
    • Finally, have your documents certified by the consulate of the country to which you will be exporting. You can find the contact details of Arab consulates and embassies in Belgium under the “useful addresses” section.

    Visa Service and Registration of Documents for Saudi Arabia

    The ABLCC is delighted to provide a visa service to Belgian and Luxembourgish citizens and persons legally residing in Belgium or Luxembourg who want to undertake business travels to, or work in, Saudi Arabia.

    Requirements for the obtainment of a Business Visa for travels to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    • An invitation of the business partner in Saudi Arabia issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs with an invitation number, and legalized by the Chamber of Commerce in Saudi Arabia
    • A passport that is valid for minimum 6 months after departure from Saudi Arabia
    • 2 photos
    • The completed application form, which you can find here
    • A letter of guarantee issued by the Belgian or Luxembourgish company applying for a visa, signed by the authorized person and mentioning the following statement: “We, (name of the company), certify that Mr/Mrs (name), (position) will undertake a business travel to Saudi Arabia on our behalf and that we will pay all the expenses of the travel and stay in Saudi Arabia. In this context, we provide you with the following information: Nature of business… Name(s) and address (es) of the company (ies) in Saudi Arabia:…”
      • This letter must be signed by the responsible manager and have a stamp of the company

    Requirements for the obtainment of a work visa to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    In addition to the visa application and two photos, the following documents are required for the obtainment of a Working Visa for Saudi Arabia:

    • Employment contract with a Saudi company (original version)
    • A passport that is valid for the length of the employment contract
    • A double Letter of Invitation: One of the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs AND one of the Saudi Ministry of Labour
    • Birth certificate, translated to Arabic and legalized by the Saudi Embassy in Belgium
    • Diploma, translated to Arabic and legalized by the Saudi Embassy in Belgium
    • Medical certificate, legalized by the Saudi Embassy in Belgium
    • Certificate of good conduct, issued by the authority of your current place of residence

    The procedure is as follows:

    • Visa application registration at the ABLCC
    • Application finalized at the Consular Department of the Saudi Embassy in Brussels.

     

    Translation Service

    The ABLCC Translation Unit provides high quality translations from and to Arabic, French, Dutch and English.

    Our translators are officially qualified and have a long-standing experience to handle commercial, financial, legal and technical translations. Benefitting from a long standing experience, the ABLCC Translation Unit is well versed in the translation of all types of documents, including:

    • Certificates of Origin
    • Commercial invoices
    • Articles of association
    • Powers of Attorney
    • Memorandum of Understanding
    • Commercial contracts
    • Personal documents: birth certificates, academic qualifications …

    Facilitation of Business Cooperation

    Looking for business contacts in the Arab world? The ABLCC is your first point of contact! Over the years, the ABLCC has managed to develop a strong network in the Arab world comprising businesses, officials, diplomats, trade associations, financial institutions and chambers of commerce on all levels.

    ABLCC members are welcome to contact the ABLCC for all business and network related requests.

    Thanks to the collaboration of Enterprise Europe Brussels, the ABLCC moreover can offer its member’s access to the Business Cooperation Database of Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), one of the world’s largest tools for business matchmaking. Contact us (add link to contact page) to obtain your Business Co-operation Proposal Form and have your company profile published in the EEN Business Cooperation Database. The kind collaboration of BECI/Enterprise Europe Brussels enables us to send you the expressions of interest of companies established in the Arab world for your company profile.

    Settlement of Commercial Disputes

    The ABLCC is glad to assist its members in solving commercial disputes. Count on us to:

    • Help gather complex information.
    • Prepare persuasive methods for dispute settlement; propose methods for mediation and conciliation.
    • Refer you to the appropriate legal advisors.

    Entertaining direct relations with the entire network of Arab Chambers of Commerce, we can help you find the right contacts to speed up the process.

    Don’t hesitate to contact us, should you require any additional information.

     

    Services

    Membership Benefits

    Is your company already present in the Middle East-North Africa region, or are you considering taking this step in the near future? A wise decision. The Arab market represents 340 million consumers and has an enormous financial potential that allows it to undertake all kinds of projects for social and economic development. Moreover, trade statistics reflect an increasingly improving trade relation between the Arab world, Belgium and Luxembourg. And make no mistake: although it is most known for its lucrative oil and gas sector, the Arab world offers opportunities in a wide range of sectors for Belgian and Luxembourgish companies of all sizes.

    Whether your company has been active in the Arab world for decades, or you are about to take your first steps in the Arab business world, becoming a member of the ABLCC will put your company in pole position for doing business in the region, assuring you maximize the profits drawn from the lucrative project market and multi–billion dollar trade relationship existing between Belgium, Luxembourg and the Arab countries.

    With 35 years of experience in promoting Arab-Belgium-Luxembourg trade and economic cooperation, the ABLCC offers you a quality service tailored on your company’s needs, based on in-depth knowledge of the economic and commercial world in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Arab countries and a strong network of contacts comprising businesses, officials, diplomats, chambers of commerce on all levels, trade associations and financial institutions.

    Allow us to present our high quality member service that will enable you to:

    Enjoy ease and efficiency when doing business with the Arab world

    • Legalize commercial documents at preferential rates

     

    • Enjoy personalized assistance in your commercial proceedings with the Arab world
    • Have all your requests treated on a priority basis
    • Take recourse to the possibilities of mediation and conciliation proposed by the ABLCC
    • Have us refer you to the best legal and financial advisors
    • Enjoy a 10% discount on translation services. The Chamber’s Translation Unit provides a high quality service in Arabic, French, Dutch and English. Our translators are officially qualified to handle commercial, financial, legal and technical translation
    • Save valuable time thanks to our Visa Service. If you need a visa for your business travels to Saudi Arabia or other Arab countries, the Chamber is delighted to provide this service to the staff of its member companies.

    Be informed about the most recent business opportunities available in the Arab world

    • Enjoy reduced tariffs on participation fees to all seminars, information days, missions to Arab countries and business workshops organized by the ABLCC. Annual toppers are a free invitation to the renowned Arab-Belgium Diplomatic Business Workshop and a 30% reduction for participation in the Arab-Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Forum.
    • Receive tenders and business proposals from Arab countries
    • Get up to date information on the most recent economic and business news in the Arab world thanks to a free copy of the ABLCC electronic newsletter including an outline of past and upcoming ABLCC activities, in-depth articles on Arab countries and economic sectors, a calendar of fairs, conferences and exhibitions taking place in the Arab world, business proposals, tenders, ...
    • Receive a free copy of the ABLCC Business Directory offering a wide array of detailed information about the economic situation and investment opportunities in the Arab world.

    Extend your network and get in touch with decision makers and potential business partners

    • Enjoy reduced tariffs for participation in B2B networking events and networking lunches, regularly organized by the Chamber to provide members with the important opportunity to develop contacts, share ideas and promote business activities. ABLCC events in general are an invaluable opportunity to meet important stakeholders from all sides who can play an important role in helping you reach your goals.

     

    • Have your requests for business contacts treated on a priority basis.
     

    Enhance your visibility in the Arab market as well as among Belgian and Luxembourg colleagues

    • Enjoy first page visibility in the ABLCC newsletter published during the month following your adhesion as well as in the “new members” section on the ABLCC website. This means free publicity for all new members through publication of the company logo, contact details and a short presentation of activities.
    • Be formally introduced during an ABLCC event following adhesion.
    • Publish tenders, job opportunities, press releases and all kinds of business proposals free of charge in the ABLCC newsletter, which is circulated among an ever growing readership, currently comprising over 1500 companies and officials based in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Arab world.
    • Enjoy a discount for advertising on the ABLCC website.
    • Publish your contact details free of charge in the ABLCC Business Directory distributed among our contacts in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Arab world.


    Initiatives

    Seminar: Belgian Social Security System

    On 28 March 2017, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Group S and Symbio, had the pleasure to invite Representatives of Arab Embassies in Belgium to a seminar on Social Security and health insurance at LE CHATELAIN BOUTIQUE HOTEL.

    The event, with no less than 38 registered participants, proved very successful  and served as a first step to help attendees better understand the Belgian Social Security System thanks to leading experts in their field!

    This event proved a success as the number of registrations outreached the initial target number of participants! We were even pleased to welcome guests from the State of Kuwait, who came especially to take part to this event!

    After the Seminar, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Group S, and Symbio, cordially invited the attendees to share a meal, which was an ideal opportunity to meet and exchange views with the various experts in a relaxed atmosphere.

    Lunch-Conference with Governor Smets, National Bank of Belgium

    Is the National Bank of Belgium’s annual report, an eagerly awaited source of information both in Belgium and abroad since 1851, has been published less than a month ago, the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce found it opportune to organize a Lunch-conference on economic perspectives and challenges for Belgium and the Eurozone in 2017.

    And who better than the Governor of the National Bank of Belgium himself, His Excellency Jan Smets, could give us a more valuable insight on the matter?

    During his presentation, Governor Smets recalled the importance of trade relations between Belgium and the Arab world stressing that this area is an important trade partner for Belgium with exports to Arab countries accounting for more than 3% of Belgian exports globally.

    Governor Smets continued his analysis by giving the audience further insights on economic projections for the Eurozone and Belgium and how economic growth could be reinforced. He also drew attention to the fact that the world economy is growing and that it will grow a little bit more this year than last year.

     

    This event was also a great occasion for the participants to meet face-to-face with our expert and to expand their network as it gathered around 80 people among which 25 Ambassadors and representatives from Arab Embassies.

    Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, HEM Pieter de Crem, in the United Arab Emirates

    On 12 February 2017, HEM Pieter de Crem, Secretary of state for Foreign Trade, accompanied by a 35-member Delegation involving no less than 17 Belgian companies from the three Regions of Belgium and Luxembourg, landed in Dubai in the framework of a Multisectorial Economic Mission to the UAE. The country is the first commercial partner of Belgium in the Gulf region and counts 3500 Belgian residents, the largest community of Belgians in the Middle East.

    Important Belgian Companies such as Besix, Tractebel, whose name are known all around the UAE, joined this economic mission leaded by the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce with the support of FIT, BIE, AWEX, the Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce, the Embassy of Belgium in the UAE. One must not forget that thanks to their wide range of connections and expertise such companies help put the Belgian potential firmly on the map and thus open up the market for other entrepreneurs.

    It is thus no surprise that the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, benefitting from its extensive network and privileged position in the Arab World, took the initiative to bring Belgian companies to explore the UAE market and to go beyond the commonly explored Emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Belgian Delegation also got the unique opportunity to get to know better less explored Emirates such as Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaima and Fujairah, which are offering a real potential for SMEs.

    For some companies such as Derbigum, manufacturer of building materials, House & Garden, manufacturer of outdoor furniture, and the Law Firm Law Right, this was an opportunity to establish new contacts outside the major commercial centers.

    For other companies, such as the Brussels IT company Ad Infinitium Bi, or the Electrical Panels Installations Company P&I bvba, as well as for Advensys Conseil, a Luxembourg accounting and fund investment firm, this was a first introduction to the UAE.

    Moroccan Business men and women visit Brussels

    The Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce has had the pleasure to welcome a delegation of business men and women from the Moroccan-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce on 24 November 2016.

    On this occasion, the ABLCC organized, in cooperation with BIE, AWEX, and CBL-ACP, a B2B Business Networking where participants had the opportunity to meet the members of the delegation.

    More than 30 participants responded to the invitation and showed a genuine interest for the Moroccan Delegation. All the participants, Belgian and Moroccan, took advantage of the expertise and experience of our speakers to explore new opportunities on the Moroccan Market and to learn more about the Belgian potential!

    Indeed, after a welcome word by Mr. Qaisar Hijazin, Mr. Ghislain Breydel, Area Manager Export Middle East and North Africa, Brussels Invest & Export (BIE), gave a presentation on “Why invest in the region of Brussels-Capital”.

    This was followed by a presentation “Invest in Wallonia” by Mr. Patrice Legrelle, Senior Business Development Manager Africa & Middle East, Walloon Export and Foreign Investment Agency (AWEX).

    Mrs. Nour Badrawi, Director of the Moroccan-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, gave a brief outline of the Chamber’s activities before leaving the floor to Mrs. Meryem Zougarh, Economic Counselor, Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco to Belgium, who gave a comprehensive presentation entitled “Morocco, a springboard into Africa».

    Among other things, Mrs. Zougarh underlined the fact that morocco has set out strategic goals to modernize key sectors of the Moroccan economy, to develop a skilled labor force thanks to trainings that meet the various company needs, to improve the business climate, and to position itself as a gateway into Africa for foreign investors.

    The participants from both sides also had the chance to present their products and/or services in more detail and to meet potential cooperation/business partners during the networking lunch that brought the event to a close.

    Up-Coming Events

    Tunisia, the way forward

    The Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Tunisian Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA), and with the support of the Tunisian Embassy in Belgium, has the pleasure to invite you to a high-level seminar on Tunisia, with His Excellency Mohamed Fadhel Abdelkefi, Tunisian Minister for Development, Investment and International Cooperation, and Her Excellency Cécile Jodogne, State Secretary of the Brussels-Capital Region, in charge of Foreign Trade, as guests of honor.

     

    In November 2016, Tunisia held its “Tunisia 2020” conference, which brought together over a thousand local and international companies. The conference, which had pragmatic objectives, aimed at presenting the strategy, laid out in the 2016-2020 Development Plan, and its numerous projects in key sectors designed to strengthen the economy as well as to create a business-friendly environment for all kind of investments.

    Indeed, with its diversified and market-oriented economy, Tunisia has long been cited as an example of success in Africa and the Middle East and despite a difficult context in the past few years, Tunisia still remains an attractive and dynamic market!

    What are the leading sectors?

    • ICT & IT (Outsourcing)
    • Automotive & Aeronautics
    • Agro-Food
    • Port Development & Infrastructure
    • Transport & Logistics
    • Oil & Gas
    • Textiles & Fashion

    Join us on 20 April to get a complete overview about business & investment opportunities in Tunisia as well as to meet face-to-face with the various representatives of the Tunisian Delegation! Bring your questions with you, you will for sure leave this high-level event with a bag full of answers!!!