About the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce
The Ghorfa Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the competence center for businesses in Germany and the Arab world. It represents all Arab Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the Federal Republic of Germany. For 40 years the Chamber has been committed to promoting business relations between Arab countries and Germany and serves as the primary centre of expertise within the Arab-German business community. The Chamber was founded on 8th December, 1976 in Bonn and has been located in Berlin since 1st August, 2000.
Board of Directors
H.E. Ali M. Thunyan Al-Ghanim
1st Vice President
President, Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Dr. Peter Ramsauer
President, Ghorfa Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry
H.E. Nael Al-Kabariti
3rd Vice President
Chairman Jordan Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Yusef Ahmed
Founding Partner & Managing Director, FIC Frankfurt International Consulting GmbH
H.E. Kamal Hasan Ali
Dep. Secretary General for Economic Affairs, League of Arab States
Dr. Florian Amereller
Founding Partner, Amereller Legal Consultants
H.E. Ebrahim Mahmood A. Abdulla
Embassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain
Doyen of the Arab Diplomatic Corps
Mr. Heiko Ammermann
Senior Partner- Head of Global Pratice Group Infrastructure, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
H.E. Nor-Eddine Aouam
Ambassador of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
Mr. Hans-Joachim Bliss
Member of the Executive Board
BAUER Spezialtiefbau GmbH
H.E. Badreldin Abdalla Mohamed Ahmed Abdalla
Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan
Mr. Gerhard Brand
Managing Partner AS+P Albert Speer + Partner GmbH
H.E. Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Alawwad
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Dr. Ralf Bufler
Managing Director – Lahmeyer GKW Consult GmbH
H.E. Ali Abdulla Al Ahmed
Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates
Dr. Aimo Bülte
CEO, Dornier Consulting GmbH
H.E. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al-Thani
Chairman Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Dr. Walter Döring
H.E. Saoud Mamoun Al Borier
Chairman Sudanese Businessmen & Employers Federation
Dr. José Campos Nave
Managing Partner, Rödl & Partner
Dr. Khalid Kleefekh Al Hajri
Chairman and CEO Qatar Solar Technologies
Mr. Jürgen Gerhards
Group Representative Middle East and North Africa, Thyssen Krupp AG
H.E. Abdulla Sultan Mohamed Al Owais
Chairman Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Mr. Herbert Grünwald
Owner, Grünwald Consulting
H.E. Mohammed Thani Murshid Al Rumaithi
Chairman Federation of United Arab Emirates Chambers of Commerce & Industry
Dr. Elisabeth Hauschild
Chief Representative, Diehl Stiftung & Co. KG
H.E. Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al Zamil
Chairman Council of Saudi Chambers
Mr. Olaf Hoffmann
2nd Vice President
CEO and President Dorsch Holding GmbH
H.E. Jaafar Rasoul Al-Hamadani
President Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce
Mr. Jürgen Hogrefe
Chairman, h.c. hogrefe Consult
H.E. Saeed Saleh Al-Kiyumi
Chairman Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Dr. Michael Inacker
CEO, WMP EuroCom AG
Mr. Adel Abdelrahman Al-Mannai
Board Member Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Dr. Gabi Kratochwil
Managing Director, Cross Cultures
H.E. Othman Mohamed Sharif Alryes
First Vice Chairman Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Mr. Florian Krueckl
Managing Director BASF Middle East
Eng. Suliman Saoud Al-Sayyari
President & CEO Saudi German Development and Investment Company Limited (SAGECO)
Mr. Hans Wolfgang Kunz
Member of the Management Board and Group Executive Giesecke & Devrient GmbH
H.E. Mohamed Laid Benamor
Chairman Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Mr. Nizar Maarouf
Vice Director, Vivantes International Medicine
Vivantes Netzwerk für Gesundheit GmbH
H.E. Hassane Berkani
First Vice President Federation of Moroccan Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Services
Mr. Ulrich Meinecke
Director, iMOVE- Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung
H.E. Wided Bouchamaoui
Chairman Union Tunisienne de l’Industrie, du Commerce et de l’Artisanat
Mr. Ralph Nitzgen
Treasurer, General Manager, Commerzbank AG, Dubai
Dr. Labib Daloub
Representative General Union of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Agriculture in Libya, c/o.
Owner of Horouge Engineering, Libya
Prof. Dr. Friedbert Pflüger
Founder and Managing Partner, Pflüger International GmbH
H.E. Youssouf Moussa Dawaleh
President Djibouti Chamber of Commerce
Director General, GIZ International Services
H.E. Mohamed El-Masry
Chairman Port Said Chambers of Commerce & Industry
Dr. h.c. Otto Schily
Managing Director and Shareholder German Consult GmbH
Former Federal Minister
Mr. Nabil R. Kuzbari
Chairman Vimpex Handelsgesellschaft MBH
Mr. Jan-Dirk Schuisdziara
Senior Vice President Project Logistics, Oil & Gas, Kühne + Nagel (AG & Co.) KG
H.E. Mohamedou Ould Mohamad Mahmoud
Chairman of Mauritania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture
Mr. Ralf Schuster
Head of Banks Non-OECD Countries, Helaba – Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen
Mr. Saeb Nahas
President Nahas Enterprises Group
Mr. Wolf R. Schwippert
Attorney at Law Schwippert Law office
H.E. Mohammed Abdu Saeed
Chairman Federation of Yemeni Chambers of Commerce & Industry
Mr. Dietmar Siersdorfer
CEO Siemens LLC
H.E. Mohamed Saleh
President Chamber of Commerce and Industry & Agriculture in Sidon and South Lebanon
Dr. Volker Treier
Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Head of Division International/ AHK, DIHK
Mr. Shaheen Ali Shaheen
Acting Secretary General Union of Arab Chambers
Mr. Paul van Son
Country Chairman for MENA and Turkey, RWE AG
Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Mikhlafi
Count Benedikt von Dürckheim-Montmartin
CEO, Saxony Handelsgesellschaft mbH
Vision & Mission
Ghorfa pursues immediate ideological purposes. It promotes cooperation between the Arab countries and the Federal Republic of Germany in the areas of trade, industry, finance and investment as well as international understanding. Through high-caliber events, delegation trips, intercultural seminars, informative publications and current reports from the Arab world and Germany, it creates the best possible conditions for German-Arab economic activities.
Ghorfa advises and supports the establishment and development of cross-border business relationships in line with the special needs and wishes of small and medium-sized and large companies. To this end, it provides useful information, advises competently, creates new impetus and links the member companies among themselves. The core tasks of Ghorfa are therefore in the areas of networking, consulting, as well as information and knowledge transfer. Ghorfa is an industry-wide company.
Activities & Services
Personal contacts are the top priority in the Arab business world. Arab culture is a relationship-oriented culture, in which first personal learning is important. For this reason, Ghorfa organizes numerous high-caliber events, in which decision-makers and entrepreneurs from the Arab world meet German business partners and thus make contacts and cultivate contacts. Members benefit not only from reduced participant fees at events, but can actively participate in them. Thus many topics are picked up at the suggestion of the members of the board for the programs. Within the framework of the preparations or during the events, contacts are made between members and potential business partners.
Conferences and contact exchanges
The Arab-German Business Forum held annually in Berlin, organized by Ghorfa together with the General union of the Arab Chambers and the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) since 1998, is today the most important German-Arab economic platform. More than 600 high-ranking decision-makers from the worlds of business and politics take part in the interdisciplinary event every year.
Other German-Arab forums, such as the health, education, tourism or energy forum offers an excellent framework to talk about the possibilities of economic cooperation to find trading partners and conduct business opportunities in the way. In addition, numerous events take place with a special country focus or ad-hoc events with personalities from the Arab countries.
Delegation and trade fairs
Regular business travel is an important prerequisite for successful market closure. Participation in a delegation trip or event enables a first market observation or contact recordings to potential customers or important decision-makers and a presentation of their own products and services on the other market. For this reason, Ghorfa regularly organizes delegation trips across the sector or industry for business people from both sides and participates in trade fairs in the Arab countries and in Germany. Ghorfa supports companies organizationally with regard to their participation in the trade fair, for example, by communicating with the messeanstalter, submitting cost estimates,
In order to be able to carry out business securely, effectively and successfully in the Arab world, not only specialist knowledge, but also well-founded cultural knowledge are indispensable. This concerns not only intercultural competence, but also the know-how about legal framework conditions, appropriate action strategies, contractual negotiations and conflict management. For this reason, Ghorfa organizes numerous seminars each year with experienced experts on the topics of law, business start-ups and intercultural communication.
Ghorfa initiates and promotes the publication of specialist books and reference works, which informs about the economy of all Arab states and about economic cooperation with the Federal Republic of Germany and makes these available to their members free of charge.
- German-Arab economic magazine SOUQ (quarterly)
- Business Directory (annually)
- Country-specific economic manuals
- Industry books
- Newsletter (monthly)
Exclusive Services for Members
“Business is all about networking”
The Ghorfa has proven to be an important and effective link between business partners from the Arab world and Germany. The Chamber actively promotes and strengthens business relationships built on trust and transparency among its member companies to establish member-to-member business and also to promote member services and products to a wider business community. With the help of its high-ranking network in Germany and the Arab world, the Ghorfa ensures quick access to political and economic decision-makers and enhances the cross-border activities of its members.
Finding the Right Business Partners
The Ghorfa supports its members in finding reputable business partners with equal interests and the same vision of a successful and beneficial partnership. Direct business contacts are encouraged through conferences and events, enabling business people to get in touch with reliable partners from the same industrial sector. The chamber also provides background information about potential business partners, projects and enterprises.
Individual enquiries regarding know-how or the supply of materials and equipment can be processed quickly thanks to the Ghorfa’s excellent database containing 15,000 relevant contacts sorted by branches. The Ghorfa provides advice and guidance through the multitude of offers and competing products and provides relevant background information. Due to numerous enquiries the Ghorfa can connect its members efficiently and can provide matchmaking at every level.
General Assembly Meeting
This annual meeting offers Arab and German members an excellent platform to exchange or establish business contacts. Members use the General Assembly to take an active role in designing the services of the Chamber and to discuss relevant matters and important issues concerning Arab-German business relations.
“Taking the Right Decisions”
Germany is known for its exceptionally diversified economy with a great variety of products and highly specialized enterprises. The Ghorfa helps its members to find their way through a multitude of competing services and products. The Ghorfa’s support, together with their comprehensive business intelligence and detailed information on market players and products, provides its members with a valuable information advantage over other market participants.
The member companies of the Ghorfa are organized in sector-specific working groups that build up a dynamic network of professionals. Their know-how is always at disposal and ensures that projects are brought to a successful conclusion.
In addition to this, the Ghorfa actively supports its members through the complex bureaucratic procedure of obtaining a German visa by procuring and processing invitation letters to facilitate business visits.
German business etiquette differs from Arab customs and habits. Different cultural backgrounds may interfere with the successful realization of projects. The competent multilingual Ghorfa team gives advice on intercultural issues and helps to understand how to deal with potential business partners. The Ghorfa team advises regarding cultural specifics and business practices such as negotiation processes with businesses, the importance of detailed contracts or judicial safeguards. The chamber also informs members on legal framework conditions in regard to taxes or commercial and investment law.
Reference and Mediation
With over 40 years of significant expertise, impeccable services and professional competence, the Ghorfa has established an excellent reputation built on a solid basis. Membership in the Ghorfa can therefore be used as a reliable reference point in the establishment of business contacts with potential partners. Membership stands for sustainable cooperation on an equal basis and represents a serious cross-border engagement.
Furthermore, the Ghorfa can resolve disputes between Arab and German business clients by finding an alternative resolution through mediation and arbitration.
“Knowledge is power”
A constant flow of valuable information ensures that Ghorfa members are up-to-date on relevant economic and industrial development trends, growing markets, investment opportunities and legal issues. The Ghorfa provides its members with weekly updated information, monthly economic background reports, the quarterly published business magazine SOUQ and annually released publications on different sectors and countries. Being informed comprehensively and at an early date about new projects, trends and developments before others is an advantage enjoyed by Ghorfa members.
Numerous publications also provide a valuable platform for member companies to both present themselves to a broad readership in Arab countries and in Germany and also to increase their standing within the Arab-German business community.
Economic Report and Newsletter
The monthly report in Arabic provides relevant information about current economic topics and developments in Germany. The monthly newsletter in German informs about economic developments in the Arab countries. Both publications cover a wide range of topics from basic information to in-depth analyses and provide Ghorfa’s members with exclusive firsthand information.
Business magazine SOUQ
Achieving a circulation of 12,000 copies, SOUQ attains a wide readership in Germany as well as in the Arab countries and reports on Arab-German business cooperation on a quarterly basis. The magazine is distributed to members of the Ghorfa, high-ranking enterprises engaged in Arab-German business relations, embassies, ministries, business organizations and other economic institutions in Arab countries and Germany. Due to a cooperation with Lufthansa AG, the magazine is read by numerous Business and First Class passengers on long and short-haul flights to the Arab world.
Based on its invaluable heritage and its ambitious commitment, the Chamber has a powerful network consisting of both institutional and entrepreneurial decision-makers from Arab countries and from Germany. Under the umbrella of the Arab League and the Union of Arab Chambers, the Chamber operates and acts as the representative of all Arab Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Germany. The Ghorfa works closely with the Arab Chambers of Commerce and Industry, related governmental bodies and relevant business associations in the Arab states as well as with Arab embassies in Germany. It is part of the worldwide organization of Joint Arab-Foreign Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The Ghorfa cooperates with German governmental bodies on federal and regional levels and with German industrial associations. The close connections and effective collaborations with decision-makers and policy shapers enable the Chamber to deliver a broad portfolio of high-quality services to meet its members’ interests.
- Union of Arab Chambers
- The Arab Chambers of Commerce and Industry
- The Arab League and its related economic organizations
- The Arab embassies in Germany
- Related governmental institutions and relevant business industries and associations in the Arab world.
- German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi)
- German Federal Foreign Office
- German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
- German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
- German Federal Ministry of Health (BGM)
- Local governments of the German federal states
- Association of the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK)
- Federation of German Industries (BDI)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
- iMOVE – Competence for International Cooperation in Vocational Training and Education
- Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM)
- German Association of Consulting Engineers (VBI)
- Didacta – the Association of the German Education Industry
- CAMP BECKENBAUER
- Various associations for business and trade