Delegates from the British Arab Chamber of Commerce with representatives of Newcastle NE1 Limited at
Jamie Hardesty

Member Article

Newcastle hosts Arab business delegation to explore post-Brexit trade options

Newcastle hosted a visit from the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) as the city continues to explore ways and means of maintaining and boosting its trade options post-Brexit.

Organised by Newcastle NE1, the city’s Business Improvement District (BID), ABCC Secretary General and Chief Executive Dr Afnan Al Shuaiby led a number of Arab businesses to the city.

The visit focused on some of the areas where companies in the Newcastle City Region have complementary interests in the Middle East, namely subsea engineering and renewable energy, science and healthcare, and education.

It was organised to highlight opportunities for business, investment, trade, knowledge transfer and learning, and to strengthen links between Arab speaking countries and Newcastle.

In addition to this the visitors hoped to raise the economic, trade and diplomatic profile of Arabic-speaking countries outside of London by meeting and sharing ideas with regional figures on issues such as research, governance, regional economics and new technologies.

Highlights of the trip included visits to Pearson Engineering at the city’s historic Armstrong Works, Shepherd Offshore in Wallsend, the Institute for Genetic Medicine at the International Centre for Life and Newcastle University,

NE1 Chief Executive Sean Bullick said: “The result of the EU referendum brought an element of risk to the North East’s position as an exporter and while we are sure the Government will do its best maintain our trade links in Europe and build more in the wider world, we are taking the initiative and are proactively building links that will sustain and grow Newcastle’s economy, regardless of the result of the Brexit negotiations.

“We are honoured to have welcomed the delegates from the Arab-British Chamber of commerce to Newcastle. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase what Newcastle city region’s world class businesses have to offer countries in the Arabic world. We have world leaders in sectors such as offshore and renewables, science, health, science and education, all of which are areas of interest to our visitors.”

Abdeslam El-Idrissi said: “We are delighted to have visited Newcastle and would like to thank our hosts Newcastle NE1 Limited for helping to organise our trip. There are a number of areas where the interests and expertise of Newcastle and the Arab nations complement one another and we are keen to explore them.

“This visit has allowed us to further friendship, co-operation and engagement with the people and companies of the North East. It is clear that there is much commercial potential in Arab-British collaboration which we hope to unlock.”

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