On 13 March 2018, the Secretary General of the AACC Eng. Mouddar KHOUJA had a welcome meeting with the new designated Mayor of Vienna H.E. Dr. Michael LUDWIG in his office at the Vienna City Hall.
During their very constructive meeting, H.E. Dr. LUDWIG and Mr. KHOUJA discussed several topics. Throughout the past years, Vienna has been establishing itself as a hub and headquarters for many international organisations and institutions, Mr. KHOUJA acknowledged and referred to organisations like OPEC and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the world’s second largest development finance institution for soft loans after the World Bank.
He also mentioned the presence of many international institutions, such as the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), the Saudi International School in Vienna and many others, as an asset and proof of Vienna’s internationality. This international positioning, together with its excellent quality of living and public services would make Vienna a very special and privileged place, as is also reflected in its top ranking, for the 9th year in a row, as the “city with highest quality of living” by the Annual Mercer Quality of Living Survey, the Secretary General of the AACC mentioned. This position should be further supported, he added.
Speaking about the city’s economic aspects, Mr. KHOUJA referred to the AACC’s efforts and activities for the support and promotion of Vienna as a business location. He informed the designated Mayor of the “Arab-Austrian Economic Forum”, the periodic international conference of the AACC where ministers, officials, presidents and representatives of Arab chambers and institutions would meet Austrian counterparts and the business community in Vienna to discuss economic topics and cooperation. The 9th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum was held in November 2017 at the Vienna City Hall with approx. 500 visitors from Austria, EU and the Arab countries. The 10th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum would take place on 1 October 2018 at the premises of the Vienna City Hall, the SG informed.
The Secretary General also mentioned the AACC’s close cooperation with the Vienna Economic Chamber and its President Eng. Walter Ruck, as well as with the Vienna Business Agency and others, to promote Vienna and Austria as an ideal business location for Arab companies and partners. In this context, he referred to the upcoming delegation trip to Saudi Arabia, organised by the Vienna Economic Chamber, from 22-26 April 2018. At the same time, the AACC would also engage to promote cooperation and friendship agreements with other Arab cities and capitals.
The designated Mayor of Vienna H.E. Dr. Michael LUDWIG referred to very positive personal experiences in Arab countries and acknowledged the Middle East and Arab countries as a region with huge potential, even more than media would reflect. He reaffirmed the importance of strong cooperation with institutions like the Vienna Economic Chamber, the Vienna Business Agency and others, to promote and intensify the relations with Arab countries and to strengthen Vienna’s position as a centre for diversity and internationalism.