The Austro Arab Chamber of Commerce Presents Leading Medical Innovations
On October 19, 2011 the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce had its annual highlight with its “Event of the Year”, the 5th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum & Exhibition. This Forum was held in the Vienna Marriott Hotel and visited by around 500 people who are concerned with and interested in Arab-Austrian economic relations in general and in leading medical innovations, such as the “bionic hand” and the “e-human fingerprint” that is to serve as an alternative to electronic e- cards, in particular.
The theme of the Forum this year was health care, medical innovations and medical tourism. The Forum speakers came from different Arab countries such as Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan, as well as from Austria andother countries. The Arab Ambassadors accredited to Austria, businessmen from both, the Arab countries and Austria, concerned with the medical, commercial and economic exchange between Austria and the Arab countries were also active participants in this event. Other cooperation partners were the EUROPEAN FORUM ALPBACH, the MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA and WIRTSCHAFTSKAMMER ÖSTERREICH / PLATTFORUM GESUNDHEITSWIRTSCHAFT.
Senator Dr. Richard SCHENZ, President of the AACC, opened the Forum & Exhibition, followed by an opening address from Ambassador Dr. Mikhail WEHBE, Head of the Office of the Arab League in Austria in the presence of the AACC’s Vice-Presidents KommR Nabil KUZBARI, Mr. Henry HAFEZ, its Secretary General Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA, and a great number of representatives from the Arab Diplomatic Corps, participants and visitors.
Parallel to the Forum an Exhibition comprised of over 40 exhibitors from many Arab embassies and Austrian companies took place. The embassies from EGYPT, KUWAIT, IRAQ, SAUDI ARABIA, SUDAN, SYRIA, TUNISIA, UAE and the representations of QATAR and PALESTINE were offering glimpses of heritage, traditions, handicrafts and traditional foods of their country in addition to brochures and booklets that offer investment possibilities. Companies and institutions such as VAMED, a major medical and hospital Supplies Company, PFIZER Austria for Pharmaceuticals, the OESD (Austrian State Printing House), DMH Franchise (Dr. Max Huber’s Real Estate Company), EMIRATES AIRLINES, ROYAL ORDANIAN, SANLAS HOLDING, the EUROPE ARAB BANK, SITTE VIENNA, DIAKONISSEN-KRANKENHAUS SALZBURG, TRENKA, MEDIZINISCHES ZENTRUM BAD VIGAUN, MIG INTERNATIONAL, the EGYPTIAN TOURISM BUREAU, AUSSENWIRTSCHAFT ÖSTERREICH, were among the exhibitors. The exhibition was also sponsored and supported by VIMPEX HandelsgesmbH, OMV, RAUCH, RED BULL, TUNISAIR, and XPLUS Management.
The Forum was very well-visited by people interested in the latest developments and innovations in the Austrian medical field as well as in the progress of Arab scientific and medical research. Dr. Sonia HORN - Professor at the Vienna Medical School, opened the sessions of the Forum tracing the relations of the deep-rooted history of Arabs and Europe, especially in the medical field. Horn pointed to the influential role of Arabic medicine in the enrichment of European civilization, and services provided by the Muslim and Arab scholars to science in Europe. She also noted the important contribution of the European civilization to the support of scientific research in Arab countries, and the progress of these countries and their benefits in the medical field.
The Forum had four discussion sessions; the formal opening session that was chaired by Dr. Walter SCHWIMMER - Former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, comprised of Ambassador Dr. Michael WEHBE - Head of the Office of the Arab League in Vienna, H.E. Mr. Samir KOUBAA - Ambassador of the Tunisian Republic, H.E. Dr. Surood R. NAJIB - Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq, Dr. Erhard BUSEK - former Vice-Chancellor of Austria and Chairman of the University Council of the Medical University in Vienna, Dr. Reinhardt WANECK - Former Austrian Secretary of State for Health, and MMag. Andrea RAFFASEDER - Member of the Executive Board of VAMED Group and CEO VAMED Engineering GmbH. The participants discussed the possibilities of investment in the Arab countries, especially in the field of health care and identifying the leading position of Austria in the medical field and the establishment of medical facilities and supervision.
The next sessions were experts’ sessions. The first one titled “Health Care and Management” pointed out the importance of hospital and medical centre management and how to raise their efficiencies through proper management. During this session light was shed on the excellent performance at the Austrian hospitals headed by the General Medical Hospital (AKH) and the private hospital Rudolfinerhaus. This session comprised of prominent expert speakers: Prof. Dr. Reinhard KREPLER - Medical Director of the AKH, Prim. Prof. Dr. Paul AIGINGER - Medical Director of the “Rudolfinerhaus” Private Hospital, Ao. Univ. Prof. Dr. Wilhelm BEHRINGER - Medical University of Vienna, Dr. Helmut BREIT - Raiffeisen Bank International, Dr. Robin RUMLER - CEO Pfizer Austria, and was chaired by Dr. Peter GLÄSER - CEO VAMED Management Services.
The second session titled “Medical Research and Innovation” and chaired by Dr. Rafic KUZBARI, M.D. - Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery, reviewed the latest scientific findings in the field of medical technology. The technology emerged with the “bionic hand” which replaces an infected human hand; Dr. Oskar ASZMANN - Director of the Center for Upper Extremity Reconstruction and Rehabilitation, Medical University of Vienna, showed how to link technical and biological micro-surgery to attain a result beneficial to patients. Mr. Michael GORGI - Managing Director and CEO of MIG International impressed the attendance with the technical biometry that allows the fingers and their blood vessels to act as a natural alternative to electronic smart cards. Other most interesting innovations were presented by Univ. Prof. Dr. Herbert ZECH - OB/Gyn., Specialist in Reproductive Medicine, Prof. Dr. Stefan NEHRER - Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medicine at the University of Krems, Prof. Dr. Nabil Mohie ABDEL-HAMID ALY - Vice-Dean of Society Development and Ecology Affairs, Faculty of Pharmacy, Minia University, Egypt.
The third session, chaired by Mag. Bettina KÖLBL-RESL - Senior Consultant Thierry Politikberatung, dealt with “Health Care Across National Boundaries”. After a short introduction by Dr. Martin GLEITSMANN - Director of the Department of Social Policy and Health, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, the audience was enlightened, through a presentation by Engineer Hussein AL-OBEIDI - Executive Director of the Arab City for Comprehensive Care, Jordan, about the high potential which the city rendered its services to children and adolescents with special needs. The panelists – among them Mag. Karl HARTLEB - Deputy Director General, ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA – Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Prim. Univ. Doz. Dr. Raimund WEITGASSER – Diakonissen-Krankenhaus Salzburg, and ao.Univ.Prof.Dr. Johannes BREUSS - Medical University of Vienna, Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Institute for Vascular Biology and Thrombosis Research, also discussed the legal issues and human rights associated with medical investments across the borders.
The activities of the Fifth Arab Economic Forum were concluded by a lecture held by Mr. Wolf SCHWIPPERT, Attorney-at-law German Board Member of the German Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ghorfa), , who tackled the developments and legal changes in the Arab countries based upon the political and geopolitical changes. He pointed to the differences in the economic systems of the Arab countries, and their effects on trade and public procurement as a tool for social and economic development. The lecture was met with great interest and a considerable feedback by the participating audience.
On the evening before the Forum & Exhibition, the Austro Arab Chamber of Commerce had held its festive Annual Dinner in the presence of the Arab Diplomatic Corps in Austria, AACC members and Arab businessmen in addition to personalities concerned with the economic and trade exchange between Austria and the Arab countries, on October 18, 2011.
The 5th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum & Exhibition and its Opening Dinner were featured by the following media partners: MONITOR TV, AUSTRO-ARAB NEWS and the CERCLE DIPLOMATIQUE.