The Deputy Director General of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al-Banna was one of the guest speakers at the Middle East Family Business Conference held December 8 to 9, 2003 at the Mina A'Salam Hotel, Dubai.
The conference was organized by the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) with the aim to examine how family businesses will develop and the challenges and opportunities people working with and for them will face.
In his presentation, Al-Banna discussed the implications of the World Trade Organization (WTO) membership on family businesses within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. He highlighted the fact that the characteristics of family businesses in this region are a combination of the wisdom and knowledge of older generations, 'the pro-profit old guards', and the knowledge in the fields of finance, marketing and human resources the new young generation is equipped with, 'the highly educated, well groomed new generation'. Al-Banna also mentioned the different sectors family businesses in this region cover, as opposed to the United States or European countries where the family businesses tend to be concentrated in one or two sectors.
Al-Banna mentioned some of the advantages which followed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) joining the WTO in April 1996, the fact that issuing and modifying new economic laws was enhanced, which in turn improved the local business environment. Examples of this were the Intellectual Property Rights Law and the Industrial Law. He added that joining the WTO also opened the international markets for local exports, and protected local producers against dumping and illegal destructive practices restricted by the WTO.
The Deputy Director General of DCCI also pointed out that prior to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), multi-national companies were cautious of entering the UAE, whereas a result of entering the WTO and the implementation of this law, opened up the UAE for foreign business and investment opportunities. Family businesses were promoted, and helped them diversify their activities. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )