Dr. Christian Koch participated in the 20th Arab-German Business Forum organized by the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry and held in Berlin, Germany. The event brought together more than 500 representatives from the Germany and Middle East Business Community. The Sultanate Oman was the country of focus.
Dr. Koch also held meeting with Dr. Edmund Ratka, Desk Officer in the Middle East and North Africa Department of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Berlin to discuss the GRC/Adenauer Foundation event on Yemen to be held in July 2017.
The Gulf Research Center with the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the German-Tunisian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, and the Center of Mediterranean and International Studies jointly held the European Neighbourhood Conference under the title “Tunisia’s transformation – Cooperating with the neighbours: Europe, North Africa and the GCC” in Tunis from April 29 to 30, 2015. The event featured the participation of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Joachim Gauck who delivered a keynote address to some 400 parliamentarians, diplomats, entrepreneurs, experts from academia and civil society representatives from Europe, Tunisia, four other North African countries and from the Gulf Region. In a roundtable discussion that followed, participants discussed ways of how to support democracy and the rule of law, how to increase foreign investment, and how to secure human resources in Tunisia. The events also included addresses by the European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy Dr. Johannes Hahn, Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid, Tunisian Foreign Minister Taib Baccouche, International Cooperation Minister Yassine Brahim and Tunisian Labour Minister Zied Ladhari.
Dr. Abdulaziz Sager, Chairman of the Gulf Research Center, participated as a speaker in the second session entitled "Sustainable economics and game changers . The role of energy" at conference Arab geopolitics after the Caliphate. How to exit the fragmentation trap, which was organized by the NATO Defense College Foundation in cooperation with NATO's Political and Security Affairs Division, in Rome, Italy on October 9.
Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the Gulf Research Center Foundation, participated in the “Poland-EU-GCC Economic Forum” held at the Ministry of Development in Warsaw, Poland and organized by the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE), the Polish Institute for International Affairs, Lewiatan, the Centre for International Initiatives, and Invest in Poland. Dr. Koch spoke in the first panel on EU-GCC Investment Cooperation. The event brought together nearly 100 participants representing Polish companies, government and the civil society sector.
The event brought together a large number of representatives from GSC, SESRI and GLMM; Qatari officials from the Ministry of Labor, Qatar Statistics Authority, Qatar Foundation and Qatar General Secretariat for Development Planning; Officials from the ministries of labor, statistical bureaus and planning institutes of the GCC countries; representatives from international organizations; and academics from/based in Qatar, the GCC countries and elsewhere.
“The unique meeting, which brought together governmental experts and academics, helped us shed new light on the fundamental topics of labor markets and migration,” said Mr. Imco Brouwer, executive director of the GLMM Programme. “Much can be learned by sharing insights and findings and comparing among the countries of GCC and between the GCC countries and other countries with a large foreign national populations and to bring together experts and academics from different professional and disciplinary backgrounds to develop innovative ideas and policies to persisting challenges.”
Participants engaged in debate to identify key issues for the upcoming 2-5 years for the Arab Gulf States concerning labour markets and migration; assess the state of research in terms of topics, quality and usefulness for policy reform and suggesting an agenda for the upcoming 2-5 years; evaluate the availability, reliability, validity, comparability and accessibility of demographic, economic, legal, social, and administrative data (statistical and survey), documents and records and evaluate them for the upcoming 2-5 years. The GLMM’s website (http://gulfmigration.eu), a fundamental instrument for anyone interested in and concerned with the issues discussed, was officially introduced at the meeting.
Additionally, participants sought to define a strategy to reinforce the Arab Gulf labour markets and migration studies community and identify a plan to increase policy dialogues between Arab Gulf and international academics, governmental and non-governmental institutions as means to advance evidence-based labour markets and migration policies.
Topics covered during the discussion included an assessment of Qatarization and, in general, of the strategies of all GCC countries to nationalize their workforce, as well as the need for evidence-based migration policy-making. As part of the event, participants highlighted some of their research outcomes and identified challenges and potential roadmaps to address these issues.
“These discussions are beneficial not only because they help us pinpoint areas of improvement but also build constructive dialogue on ways through which we can examine possible solutions,” said Dr. Darwish Alemadi, director of SESRI and Qatar University’s associate vice president for research.
“It is our hope that these kinds of discussions pose as a starting point for further valuable debates on important labor research topics,” said Dr. Abdullah Baabood, director of the Gulf Studies Center.
The Ca’ Foscari University in Venice hosted a lecture on “Environment and Geo-Strategy: The Shape of Future Conflicts, the Roots of a new Peace” delivered by Grammenos Mastrojeni, Minister Counselor in Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prof. Matteo Legrenzi, Associate Professor of International Relations and Gulf Studies at Ca’ Foscari University served as a discussant.