The 2013/02/21 at 08:16
It was with great pride that Remy Rowhani received us at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris: “We are very happy to be hosting the World Chambers Congress for the first time in the Middle East.” One thing is certain: Qatar has been at the centre of everyone’s attention in recent years. This small country harbouring great ambitions is not only hosting the WCC this year, but has also been selected as host of the 2022 Football World Cup, to the surprise of those less familiar with the country. But for those in the know, it was obvious that Qatar’s renown would grow by the organisation of such events.
In terms of the 8th Congress, Qatar wishes to demonstrate its intention to join the big league, and also to leave a lasting impression. Remy Rowhani declares that “we wish to be the reference for future congresses. We are doing all we can to ensure that from the moment a delegation sets foot in our country to the moment it leaves, its experience with us will be a moment of pleasure. And above all, we are placing ourselves completely at the disposal of the countries present.”
Regarding France, in the midst of a strong recession and whose promise of a 3 % deficit was recently declared impossible to keep, Remy Rowhani sends a clear message: “I advise French enterprises to be present at the Congress. It is important that the event be taken very seriously. Major countries such as China and India are doing so. But in the three years since I have had the honour of heading my country’s Chamber of Commerce, I don’t remember a French delegation coming to Qatar. And yet the country may represent great opportunities for French enterprises.”
Could the French attitude be symptomatic of a Europe that is ill at ease in the globalised economy? No, replies Peter Mihok, the Chairman of the World Chambers Federation: “The ICC - WCC is returning to Europe in 2015, and it is Torino that has been chosen. We want to highlight that this city is not part of what is commonly known as the ‘bubble economy’ as it is a very important industrial centre. And the future of Europe resides in a desire to continue to produce, not to speculate.”
Since 2008, and following the sub-prime crisis, it is not out of place to hear this type of stance: toxic loans and crazy speculation have now been banned by those who today advocate, rather than more regulation, the creation of a new gaze on the globalised economy. And the watchword is education, as expressed by Peter Mihok: “In my opinion, all regulation is dangerous. But we probably need a pro-business policy that could help small businesses. These small businesses generally stem from the middle classes, but they bring new ideas. And we should support these new ideas in order to create a new elite in the market. Education is the key, for Europe has gaps in the hi-tech domain. We have too many lawyers and not enough engineers. Here is the future of Europe: a new industry based on a high level of education.”
Education, middle class, a market economy based on strong industry: these are the goals set by the Congress in coming years. These are the themes that will colour the next two ones, in Doha and Torino. But will the top pupil in the globalised economy, namely the European Union, assimilate these new trends?