The Labour Party Annual Conference 2023
SME4Labour fringe: Opportunities in Middle East: Enabling British SMEs to Access MENA Markets
🗓 Date: Monday, 9 October 2023
⏳ Time: 13:00
📍Location: SME4Labour POD (Meeting Room 22), ACC Liverpool, Kings Dock Street, Liverpool, England, L3 4FP
SME4Labour fringed: Opportunities in Middle East: Enabling British SME’s to access MENA Markets with Aisha Khalifa Al Romaihi, Manager of Special Programmes at the Qatar Development Bank; Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council; Yasmin Qureshi MP; Marco Forgiorne, Director General of The Institute of Export & International Trade; Rehana Ameer, Business leader and City of London Councillor and Hatice Beton, CEO at Sovereign Strategy, Executive Director at The G20 Health and Development Partnership. This panel discussion was chaired by John McTernan, Political strategist and former Labour adviser.
Marco Forgiorne highlighted the importance of the Institute of Export on International Trade as Its fundamental aim has been to bolster international trade and enhance its professionalization. Drawing a historical parallel, some perceive today’s challenges in the UK as reminiscent of those from 1935. Forgiorne stressed the pivotal role of international trade as a powerful force for addressing global challenges. He underscored the importance of breaking down barriers and fostering connectivity between nations. Forgiorne emphasized the UK’s potential to learn valuable lessons from Qatar, particularly in areas such as innovation and forefront technology, as well as in sports. According to Forgiorne, to enhance the engagement in deploying e-commerce solutions in support of international trade, a Labour government would prioritize the implementation of a comprehensive industrial strategy, which has been conspicuously absent from recent political agendas. This industrial strategy would establish a long-term, stable vision for the economy, tightly interwoven with both export and import strategies. Moreover, the announcement of a sovereign wealth fund in the UK presents a significant opportunity. It allows the UK to strategically and proactively cultivate trade relationships with crucial markets, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region stands prominently atop the list of regions and nations with which the UK should foster and expand its trade relations.
In summary, this panel explored the extensive opportunities that were available to British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in gaining access to markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Participants joined us for insightful discussions, benefited from expert insights, and engaged in interactive sessions as we delved into the potential of this dynamic market. The panel primarily focused on strategies that could help SMEs successfully expand their businesses within the MENA region.