Participants and Members celebrated the 25th version of the Arab-German Business Forum

Around 250 visitors from Germany and the Arab countries ensured that this year’s forum was a particular success. There was also a special occasion: the Forum celebrated its 25th anniversary! As usual, the format took place at the Hotel Ritz-Carlton in Berlin. Over the three days of the Forum, numerous panel discussions took place in the hotel’s ballroom, while participants had the opportunity to engage in conversation, exchange ideas and network in the foyer.

The partner country for this year’s forum was Egypt. Speakers and discussants expressed their respect for the economic achievements of the North African country. Whether it was the successful fight against the pandemic, the upcoming climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, or the recent billion-dollar order for Siemens to build a high-speed rail line, recognition of Egypt’s successes was on everyone’s lips. The Forum’s guest of honor, Her Excellency Nevin Gamea, Egyptian Minister of Industry and Trade, made it clear that the government is not resting on its laurels. She made it clear that there is still potential in sectors such as renewable energy and mobility. “We want more projects!” the minister said in a conversation with Ghorfa President Dr. Peter Ramsauer. She made clear that investments from foreign companies are welcome. Dr. Ramsauer was also impressed by the ambition of the Egyptian authorities. “I feel envy in view of the speed of construction projects in Egypt,” the Ghorfa president said. Another highlight of the forum was the signing of a memorandum of understanding in which Ghorfa and the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry agreed to further cooperation and the establishment of a Ghorfa branch office in Cairo.

The discussion panels during the three-day forum covered a wide range of topics: whether classic sectors such as mobility and logistics or newer topics such as sustainability, the fourth industrial revolution and FinTech – a wide range of interests was covered. The topics of food security and recovery after the global pandemic were particularly in focus. The discussants agreed that the global inflation that followed the Corona pandemic, as well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, affected economic development in many ways.

In particular, there would be a real opportunity to deepen Euro-Arab partnerships in the desired diversification of energy supplies to the EU, as Arab countries have the necessary conditions to produce green hydrogen, which could then be exported to the EU and take pressure off the European electricity market. The diversification of further supply chains under consideration with regard to China and the trend to procure goods and services primarily from friendly nations (“near-shoring”, “friend-shoring”) offered potential for further cooperation. This was also noted by Dr. Dominik Schnichels, Head of the Foreign Trade Policy Department at the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection. However, the participants also agreed that trade should not be demonized in principle just because trading partners are characterized by different cultural values. Business relationships still have the potential to build bridges and bring people together across borders.

In addition to the official program, numerous other events took place at the 25th Arab-German Business Forum. In addition to meetings of Ghorfa’s committees, Her Excellency Minister Gamea met with German Economics Minister Dr. Robert Habeck. The two ministers jointly decided to extend several German-Egyptian projects.

In addition to the opportunity to exchange ideas in a relaxed atmosphere in the foyer of the Ritz-Carlton, the participants also met on Tuesday evening at the China Club Berlin. In an open atmosphere, numerous conversations developed over the flying buffet, in which the discussions initiated in the panels were continued.

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