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The View From The Chair - The Persian version…

Wed, February 21, 2018


January 2018 has kicked off to a flying start from a BBG event perspective with a variety of learning, social and awareness events already having taken place.
Only this week around 70 BBG Dubai & Northern Emirates members and their guests met for lunch at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel for the second event of our new Ambassador Series. This initiative is the brainchild of our fellow committee member, Deputy Consul General and Regional Director for DiT, Alastair Long. Over the course of our committee year we are inviting and hosting a member & guest lunch for regional Ambassadors of Her Majesty’s Government to share an overview of both the commercial opportunities in their area and the broader eco or geo-political picture - behind closed doors -gleaned from their unique perspective.

Back in November, for the inaugral event of the series, we welcomed home to Dubai HMA to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Simon Collis, whose insights proved to be very prescient indeed! 

Yesterday, we welcomed HMA to the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nicholas Hopton. This was an exceptional opportunity to receive a briefing from the current Ambassador to Iran, the country that has the second largest economy in the Middle East & North Africa region after Saudi Arabia - a population of 80 million consumers - and is the biggest new market to enter the global economy in over a decade.

Nicholas Hopton joined the Foreign Office in 1989 and has served as Ambassador to Yemen and Qatar as well as at the British Embassies in Paris, Rome and Rabat. He has worked on national security issues in the Cabinet Office, led the international Organisations Department in the FCO and was Private Secretary to the Minister for Europe.

The resounding message from the Ambassador and his accompanying DiT team yesterday is that Iran is very much open for business - particularly for British expertise. A question was asked from the floor about market entry processes. Well, on the World Bank table of ease of doing business, Iran is way down at no.124, so yes, there are challenges, and yes, it is pioneering to a certain extent, so not for the feint hearted. Dipping in “to make a quick buck” is unlikely to reap benefits, but calculated and guided market entry assistance from the DiT team on the ground is there. Opportunities abound. The BBG operations team can happily introduce member companies and their representatives to the relevant DiT contacts where you will receive a warm and professional welcome.

So, what’s next? Well, watch this space for an announcement for the third event in the Ambassador Series - perhaps from Iraq? Perhaps in February? I couldn’t possibly say any more at this stage!

Finally, I wanted to round off this message with a quick quiz, the winner of which will receive two complimentary guest invitations to the next Ambassador Series lunch, kindly donated by Platinum Sponsor, Links Group. All you have to do is come up with the best (and of course appropriate) collective noun for a number of Ambassadors! Answers to be sent via Twitter to @bbgonline using the hashtags #members4members #AmbassadorQuiz

Hope to catch up with many of you at upcoming events - particularly the Great British Burns Night on Friday 26th January