Upwards of 100 delegates representing companies across the energy, technology, services and green finance sectors joined our COP28 & Sustainable Development introductory forum on the afternoon of 12 September where the ABCC hosted a panel of distinguished industry experts from Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and the UK.
Delegates gathered at the Chamber’s Mayfair premises were greeted by ABCC Secretary General & CEO, Mr Bandar Reda, who highlighted the positive role of the Chamber in assisting businesses in building closer relations to strengthen cooperation between Arab and British companies.
Chairing the discussion, Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi, ABCC Deputy CEO & Secretary General, began by remarking on the recent devastating earthquake that had struck the region of Marrakesh in Morocco and the flooding in Libya, urging people to support the relief efforts and donate to the appeals that had been launched.
Mr El-Idrissi described the introductory forum as a preliminary to the session of the same title that will feature at the Arab-British Economic Forum (ABES2023) when it meets in London on 20 November.
The ABCC was delighted to welcome a delegation from Saudi Arabia’s National Centre for Waste Management (MWAN), whose Director of Sector Planning, Mr Sulaiman Alamro, delivered a detailed presentation at the forum on the Kingdom’s ambitions to transform its waste collection and recycling industry in line with Vision 2030. MWAN’s mandate resembled that of UK’s DEFRA and the Environment Agency, Mr Alamro said, indicating that its aim was to eliminate the use of landfill and maximise recycling.
The extensive plans for the sector were a necessary response to the major transformation taking place inside the country with new city developments, population growth and major infrastructure leading to the demand for more waste collection and recycling facilities, the MWAN executive stated. Saudi Arabia’s plans in this sector were opening up major opportunities for investors and the purpose of MWAN’s visit to the UK was to learn from British experience and hold discussions with key officials from industry and government.
The introductory forum attracted seven partners and supporting organisations with headline partner, KEZAD Group providing one of the keynote speakers. The ABCC also partnered with the UK Department for Business & Trade (DBT) via its “Great” campaign and Kantor Advisory Partners to deliver the event which proved to be extremely successful. The other event supporters were Sustain:able, Floras and ZEF Concepts & Phyla Earth.
Speaking online from Abu Dhabi, Ms Khulood Taymour, Senior Manager, Channel Management, KEZAD Group, shed much light on the vast number of opportunities for investors, SMEs and startups in areas like green science and technology in KEZAD’s strategic hub. She urged companies interested in availing themselves of these opportunities to make direct contact with KEZAD which operated a one-stop shop service where enquirers would be guided to the best options to suit their requirements. Ms Taymour stated that she looked forward to meeting delegates in London at ABES2023 and said that KEZAD was pleased to be the Summit’s lead partner.
The panel of speakers was completed by sustainability experts from companies drawn from the ABCC’s membership base, including new Platinum member, Zef Concepts Ltd & Phyla Earth Ltd, whose CEO & Co-founder, Rabih El Fadel, described his projects to regenerate degraded industrial landscapes across Africa. Mr El Fadel has had an extensive career working alongside UN agencies and governments in Africa and Asia to create sustainable community based projects to assist with food production and environmental regeneration.
The final two speakers were Dr Rachel Gavey, Director, Sustain:able, who spoke of how her company supports firms seeking to align their activities closely with the UN Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) and Stephen Humphreys, CCO, Floras, which had devised an innovative loyalty scheme allowing consumers to claim points on their sustainable transactions.
The discussions concluded with a Q&A session and the event ended with a networking reception.