Legal Conference: How to establish your business in the GCC, legal assets and traps
On April 15, 2016, Arab Business in partnership with the Private Office of H.E. Mubarak Bin Hamoodah (Tamalluk) organized their first joint conference in Paris to promote bilateral trades between Europe and the GCC. The event named: "Establish your business in the GCC" gathered 150 professionals at the prestigious University of Law, Paris Panthéon-Assas in the heart of Paris.
During the conference, Houssam Nasrawin, President of Arab Business Leaders and CEO of Gulf Development Company (GDC Partners), an Abu Dhabi based advisory firm chaired by H.E. Mubarak Bin Hamoddah underlined the role of the UAE as an international gateway to European companies to penetrate the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region. He also stressed the high potential that the UAE and GCC markets offer to European investors in terms of long term returns. He insisted on the point that European companies willing to penetrate the market must be careful about the local entities they work with and do extensive research in order to find the right partner and succeed.
Isabelle Bébéar, Director of the International Department at BPIfrance, the French public investment bank that supports and finances companies in their international development, mentioned the opening in a near future of an office in Dubai to answer to the strong interest of French companies for the region. Jean-Louis Roubaud, Vice-president of CGPME for the Hauts de Seines region encouraged French SMEs to develop more and more their ties with the GCC and underlined the role of the CGPME to support them in their international expansion in the region. CGPME is an independent organization that represents the interests of more than 1.7 million SMEs in France.
The event ended with a debate between two French lawyers with a long experience in the GCC who gave a legal analysis for companies willing to establish in the Gulf region. Hugues Scalbert, partner at the international legal firm Gide, gave his analysis of the Saudi market, stressing the high potential of the country for French and European companies. He mentioned that KSA is a liberal country based on private property and Sharia'h law widely open to foreign investments. Elias Bou Khalil, Partner at Arago International, a Middle Eastern based legal consultancy firm with presence in UAE, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and strongly active in Europe (namely France and Germany) shared his analysis of the UAE legislation. He explained the difference between freezone and non freezone companies and the advantages and inconveniences of each solution for companies wishing to expand their operations throughout the Middle East. He also explained the importance of local partners and sponsors to conduct businesses within the UAE. He finally insisted on how the UAE is a safe market for foreign investors and companies and presented the type of protection offered to investors. After their presentation, a Q&A session with the audience was held. The event was attended by representatives of business government institutions, diplomats, investors and CEOs of large and medium companies.
"It is the first step of a roadshow to meet entrepreneurs from all Europe to promote the bilateral business ties between the UAE and Europe. Europe is plenty of innovative companies that we want to attract to the UAE and support them in their development" said Mohammed Al Hunity, Managing Director of the P.O. of H.E. Mubarak Bin Hamoodah.
This conference was the fist one organized in partnership between the the P.O. Of Mubarak Bin Hamoodah and with the business organization Arab Business Leaders. The next joint events will be held in London, Geneva and Berlin.
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Pictures of the conference
Panthéon Assas University