The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, in close cooperation with the European business support network ‘Enterprise Europe Network’ of the European Commission and many professional partner organisations from the UAE, welcomed a delegation of over 250 companies to Dubai for an international matchmaking event that took place in the framework of Expo 2020 Dubai. By leveraging the global dimension of the World Expo 2020 through onsite visits, thematic workshops, networking receptions, and individual b2b meetings at its core, from 23 to 25 January, Luxembourg companies and their European counterparts had the opportunity to explore business opportunities, to explore the Middle East market, and to gain international visibility. As the event was multi-sectoral, the companies that attended spanned various economic sectors, encompassing ICT, education, health, and services, to name only a few.
To ensure the success of the International Business Meetings by B2fair, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and its Enterprise Europe Network had the promotional support of network partners and many other professional business support organisations that promoted this international matchmaking event locally in their respective region or country and brought significant delegations to this unique business networking experience live at the World Expo in Dubai. Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts was a partner of this international event and brought a delegation of more than 30 Lithuanian companies to Dubai.
A considerable strength of this event was the presence of a large delegation of UAE-based companies, notably thanks to the involvement of local partner organisations, such as the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the Dubai Businesswomen Council and the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce. Thus, this international b2b event also represented the perfect occasion for the International Affairs and its Enterprise Europe Network team to foster sustainable relations with Middle Eastern Chambers of Commerce directly on site, which will surely act as a launchpad for future cooperation. The tight collaboration with the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office facilitated these new connections.
‘We conceived this event with three objectives: to foster international partnerships in the EU Single Market, to help our companies explore the Middle East market and, finally, to exploit the international dimension of the World Expo in a convivial way. We achieved our objectives with great success, registering participation from numerous companies from the EU and the Middle East. We will now focus on supporting our companies to follow-up their potential business contacts to convert them into sustainable partnerships’ said Amrita Singh, Senior International Affairs Advisor, Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.
Despite the uncertainty generated by the latest outbreak of the pandemic situation and which seemed to reach its peak right at the date of the event, European and international companies flocked to this matchmaking opportunity and expressed their gratitude for being able to conduct business meetings in person again, while exploring new markets.
As Omar Khan, Director, International Offices, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said, ‘the event and workshop were a great success that served the main objective of helping companies get to know the business environment in Dubai. I received several requests from EU companies that showcased their interest in exploring new opportunities in Dubai’.
As such, over 650 business meetings were held at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers on 24 January. That same evening, a reception at this magnificent venue provided participants with a more relaxed setting that allowed them to continue their business discussions and discover further potential business partners. The participants also had the opportunity to remain active on the matchmaking platform with the possibility of having online interactions. Close to 1,200 connections were made and 776 discussions were initiated throughout the event.
Satisfied with his participation, Frank Trierweiler, Managing Partner of EducDesign, said, ‘the event exceeded our expectations in terms of the quality of contacts and gave us a great overview of the Middle East market. We had meetings with companies from several countries, and I believe the contacts will bring concrete results for us. We were assisted efficiently and professionally by the International Affairs team of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce all through our participation.’
The visit of various pavilions on the site of the Expo was intended to stimulate innovative thinking among the companies that were present. Indeed, through the visit of the pavilions, such as the mobility, sustainability, or DP World pavilions, companies were pushed to think beyond their comfort zone and explore new horizons. Hence, the two key themes of the double transition that is envisaged by the Von der Leyen Commission were omnipresent in the selection of thematic pavilions. In addition to those, the delegation also toured country pavilions to increase companies’ appetites for foreign markets. Exploring new markets also entails having in-depth economic and cultural knowledge. To enter the Middle Eastern market successfully, companies were provided with advice on how to conduct business in the UAE thanks to a workshop on that topic.
As many companies had to cancel their participation just prior to the event due to COVID-related reasons, the Enterprise Europe Network of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce is impatient to organise a follow-up digital edition of this international matchmaking event in order to give these companies the possibility to catch up on lost business opportunities.
Jan Heidermanns, Head of International/Foreign Trade at IHK Trier.
The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce welcomed 20 participants from the Rhineland Pfalz as a part of their own delegation brought to the International Business Meetings by b2fair. Our companies were assisted at every stage of their participation and had very interesting meetings. We look forward to further joint initiatives to promote the Greater Region and exchanges between our companies.
Agné Jaraite, Head of International Relations and Protocol Department
The event was a great success and our delegation, brought by the Enterprise Europe Network of the Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts in Lithuania, was very glad to be a part of it. The idea to have not only bilateral but an international b2b event brought an added value to the participating SMEs. We are sure that after the event, new partnerships will not only be explored with companies from the UAE but also from Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, and more. We are very grateful to the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and its Enterprise Europe Network for the excellent organisation as well as the great attention to the interests of each of our participants.