This lesson formed the key of the presentation given by Assarwa – MENA Business Consultants on 14 June to the Business Club Middle East van Voka in Ghent, Belgium. Voka is the Flemish network for enterprises with around 18,000 companies as members. The network represents 65% of the added value and 66% of the private employment in Flanders.
Through three examples from its practice (a start-up, a SME and a multinational) Mr. Duinmaijer, CEO of Assarwa – MENA Business Consultants, illustrated the elements to which companies looking for business in the Middle East should pay attention to. Although European companies can count on a number of benefits, like export without customs levies, investment incentives and a growing market, a few important lessons have to be kept in mind to profit from these benefits and to close successfully deals.
The case of the start-up showed that personal contact, patience and a good product pitch start-up can help by persuade local companies of the added value of European products. The case with the multinational added that companies can avoid many pitfalls by doing a background check of their potential trade partners, double checking local regulations and adopt a proactive approach. Finally, the last case with a SME showed how important a company image can be and how to deal with regional differences in development and adaption of technology.
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Photo: Dalal Al