Invitation to join a very special British High level trade delegation to Kuwait September 25 – 28

It is with great pleasure that I write to invite you to join me on this year’s Pathfinder Trade Mission to Kuwait which will coincide with a major British Government initiative in Kuwait to promote all that is best about British Exports, Trade and Investment and Services to Kuwait.

The Trade Mission which I will be leading will coincide with a visit to Kuwait by the Red Arrows, the PM’s Trade Envoy to Kuwait Baroness Morris. This is very good news indeed and will certainly give us all a boost on arrival in Kuwait and we have therefore very slightly amended the dates of the Mission to 25-28 September to ensure that we are in market during this high profile time for the UK. You may already have heard Pathfinder is working closely with the British Embassy and also the Kuwait British Business Centre to develop a very special programme for delegates. Prior to departure delegates have been invited by the Embassy to attend a high level reception to see the Red Arrows in action.

Kuwait currently offers some of the best  opportunities for British exporters and services in the region, in all fields. At a time when economies worldwide are faltering,  Kuwait,  an immensely rich country, has embarked on a very ambitious five year investment programme estimated at $112 billion aimed at diversifying the economy, and developing private enterprise and a skilled entrepreneurial  workforce.

Kuwait will achieve its goals by adapting a multi strand finance and investment strategy, to back this up Kuwait wants to encourage UK specialists and companies to partner in its programmes which will involve significant investment in social Infrastructure for example Health care and Education as well as developing its major infrastructure projects which range from Power Generation and desalination, metro and Rail Projects, as well as new air and port developments, many projects will be government backed and involve PPP so there is also plenty of scope for UK Financial services as well. These Major projects will inevitably open the doors for the backbone of UK industries our SME’s who are involved in the various supply chain industries in all sectors.

In my opinion the timing for this trade mission is spot on, and I am delighted that UK Government is giving such great support to British Exporters and I do hope that you will be able to join me on this very special occasion.

The Pathfinder Trade delegation which will offer unique assistance to all delegates including match making, For further information please do contact Lyndsay Snowden Pathfinder Mission Manager or click here. I will also be pleased to offer advice on the market if required.

I very much look forward to hearing from you

With best wishes

Invitation to join our Pathfinder multi sector trade delegation to Kuwait September 23-26

I am delighted to be able to invite you to join me on our multi sector trade delegation to Kuwait September 23 – 26, Kuwait is a country that I know well and have been involved with for many years.

Kuwait which has excellent relationships with the UK is one of the richest countries in the Gulf, and for many years has been a major investor in the UK and in view of today’s current economic and political climate when many markets are flat, Kuwait stands out as one of few Middle East countries that is successfully meeting the challenges of low oil prices by launching a multibillion dollar five year development plan ending March 2020 to diversify its economy in key sectors.

As a result of Kuwait’s strong fiscal position there are excellent opportunities in financial services across the board, the Kuwait market offers British Businesses and exporters excellent growth potential with genuine new blue chip opportunities for trade and investment, and I do urge you to join me on what will be a very exciting trade development visit.

Infrastructure investment projects are key, examples of Kuwait’s investment projects include the construction of thousands of housing units together with new fully equipped hospitals and schools. There are new plans for the development of the tourism sector, a new metro system, a railway network, numerous mega oil projects including a new refinery, and new developments in the petrochemical industries and ports.

To support Kuwait’s industry and the development of the local labour force, Kuwait is investing heavily in technical, vocational, education and training and those in this sector will also find Kuwait of interest, On the soft side Kuwait, which has one of the richest populations in the Gulf, is a developing market for media industries and the IT sector is a key new fast developing area. The retail sector is expanding and opportunities abound for high value good quality products as are the opportunities in the food and drink sector.

On agriculture Kuwait is looking towards the UK also and has recently purchased 30,000 tons of barley from us. Kuwait wishes to develop its fishing and fish farming industry as well as its agricultural industries for local consumption.

With such an ambitious plan for investment as you might expect there are real opportunities in all aspects of financial and legal services for British companies interested in developing the Kuwait market.

The current plan which ends March 2020 aims to catapult Kuwait as a regional trade and financial hub by 2035 and fortunately for the UK, British Business people are welcomed and very well thought of. Kuwait is also a natural and traditional hub for trade with Iraq where many Kuwaiti industries act as suppliers and contractors.

The 2020 plan aims to bolster Kuwait’s GDP increasing the private sector share of the economy from 26.4% to 41.9%, whilst increasing the numbers of Nationals working in the private sector.

There could not be a better time to visit Kuwait and develop trade and business links, this trade mission will be led by myself and will focus on establishing real relationships between delegates and Kuwaiti businesses. I encourage all colleagues to seriously consider joining me on this trade mission which is supported by the British Embassy in Kuwait, the Kuwait Embassy in London as well as the Kuwait British Chamber of Commerce in Kuwait.

Please do contact Lyndsay Snowden Pathfinder Trade Mission Manager for further information here……

Pathfinder Kuwait Multi-Sector Trade Mission

With very best wishes

Invitation to Join Official Pathfinder Qatar Education and Training Trade Delegation October 22 -25

I am delighted to announce, and invite interested parties to join, the Third Pathfinder Qatar Education and Training trade delegation, and to advise you that this year leading our education and training trade mission will be Mathew Anderson Managing Director of TVET UK, who many of you will know, and who has done so much to assist Educational associated organisations in developing their businesses worldwide.

There is clearly great scope in Qatar for UK business in the field of Education, Training, and Education Supplies to further develop their businesses, which now is a real leader in the Middle East in this fast developing and important sector, as Professor Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al- Thani put it:

“There is no way forward without putting education as a priority”.

Qatar is becoming one of the most significant players in the field of education innovation in the Middle East, supporting a raft of projects from grassroots basic literacy through to high-end university research.

At the centre of many of Qatar’s education initiatives is Professor Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, a member of Qatar’s ruling family and a former university professor, Sheikh Abdulla’s aims are ambitious and exciting. Speaking in London he set out Qatar’s strategic thinking – When the oil runs out, Qatar wants to be left with a viable, advanced economy. To achieve this, Qatar’s spending on Education is on an epic scale. Building universities, reforming the school system, improving vocational training and setting up an international forum for finding the most effective forms of innovation to assist not only Qatar but the wider Middle East.

This unique Pathfinder trade mission led by Mathew Anderson of TVET will be limited to fifteen delegates and bookings will be made on a fist come basis, a full programme is being developed in cooperation with the British Chamber of Commerce Qatar (a FCO supported initiative) and with the cooperation and support of our British Embassy in Doha.

The mission is planned to take place in October 22 – 25 and an Early bird discount of £200.00 is available now. For full details please contact Pathfinder Mission Managers here: Pathfinder Education Sector Qatar Trade Mission

With very best wishes

Michael Thomas
Executive Chairman and CEO

Invitation to join Pathfinder Matchmaker Mission to Amman, Jordan – October 1-4

I am delighted to be able to invite you to join the Pathfinder High Level Trade Mission to Jordan this October, led by Alastair Watson who knows Jordan well and was formerly Private Secretary to HRH The Duke of York when the Duke was acting as the UK’s Special Envoy for Trade with UKTI. The Mission will be in Amman 1-4 October. Early bird discounts are available.

Jordan has become a hugely important market for the UK with its strategic position at the heart of the Levant where the region attracts more than a billion pounds worth of UK exports. Shell has now signed sizeable contracts in the energy sector which is greatly boosting bi-lateral trade. Jordan’s GDP is growing by 3.1% and inflation is under control. The priority sectors for British exports to Jordan include:

  • Energy industries
  • Information and Communications technology (ICT)
  • Defence and Security
  • Healthcare
  • Aid industries
  • Medical and Pharmaceutical products
  • Road vehicles
  • Industrial machinery
  • Luxury goods
  • Foodstuffs and consumer products
  • Clothing
  • Electrical machinery Business Services

Transit trade to Iraq – Very importantly Jordan with its strategic Port of Aqaba has become the gateway to Iraq, both Bagdad and Northern Iraq.  The delegation will be meeting with the Iraqi Business Council in Amman whose members are leading businessmen associated with Iraq and represent most of the largest Iraqi companies who have their bases in Amman, as do many foreign companies operating in Iraq.

In the healthcare industries sector there is tremendous scope for co-operation between UK and Jordanian hospitals, ICT in healthcare, renovation and expansion of existing hospitals, latest technologies in equipment, software and tools. In the ICT sector which is the largest contributor to Jordan’s economy there are many opportunities for UK businesses. Jordan’s energy sector is rapidly developing. There are plans to develop the refined products sector and to make the Kingdom an important location for regional energy integration and there are also plans for a nuclear power facility by 2020. Other opportunities include renewable energy projects particularly solar and wind.

On the education and training front more of 70% of Jordan’s population are under the age of 30. Opportunities include educational software, accreditation, teacher training, skills and personal development.

A comprehensive tailored programme of meetings and introductions for delegates is being arranged and this Trade Mission has the full support of DIT and our Embassy in Amman

For further details please contact Lyndsay Snowden, Pathfinder Mission Manager here Pathfinder Multi-Sector Jordan Trade Mission

I very much hope that you will be able to join us and we look forward to hearing from you.

With best wishes

Michael Thomas
Executive Chairman and CEO

The Middle East. The end of an era and the beginning of a new dawn.

Tuesday, 14th February 2017

Michael Thomas reflects on challenges and opportunities and how to connect with the MENA region in an exciting new market situation.

Forty years ago I started my career of business development with the Middle East, the first oil boom had begun and I wanted to be part of it. I originally started in the Lebanon as a young man in the early seventies, it was not long before I was invited to join the Kuwait Shipping Company and I lived in Kuwait. This we built up to become UASC, the major flag carrier operating to the Gulf. It was the start of what was to become a great business development adventure, which enabled me to rub shoulders with some of the great and the good of the Middle East – both with Arab and International business people.
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Pathfinder Priority Markets 2017

Michael Thomas Reveals Promising Markets

Tuesday, 14th February 2017

The question now remains: where are the markets which offer UK businesses the best and most secure opportunities in today’s economic and political climate in the Middle East region? The first thing we would suggest is that in doing business in the Middle East one must be nimble footed; when one country market door closes (usually because of political instability or a lack of available finance), another door opens elsewhere in the region.
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Pathfinder Trade Mission Programme – New Developments

Tuesday, 14th February 2017

The Pathfinder Trade Mission Pogramme for International Business People is taking shape and will be focused this year on the countries mentioned. We have also teamed up with TVET UK run by Matthew Anderson who will be leading our joint education and vocational training trade missions starting with Qatar this year. Other sector specific trade missions are being planned for financial services particularly to the UAE and Qatar; these will be led by Jeremy Fern who worked in broking, asset management and later in the City of London Corporation – and who is very highly regarded in the industry.
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Pathfinder Women In International Business

Tuesday, 14th February 2017

We recognise the growing importance of connecting international business women from the UK with those in the Middle East. This is a new area for business development that now covers many sectors. In this respect, we are pleased to advise that Pathfinder has reached an agreement with “Access to Women in Energy” for a joint energy-related trade delegation to Abu Dhabi in 2017. This mission will be led by Dr Carole Nakhle.
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Kurdistan VIP Leaders Luncheon

Her Excellency Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, High Representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government in London, was our guest of honour for a VIP Leaders Luncheon on November 21, 2014 at The Cavendish Hotel. The sold-out event was attended by top investors keen to partner with Kurdistan for current stability and future business.

Her Excellency spoke on the current political and business climate in Kurdistan, as well as opportunities for UK businessmen in the current circumstances. Long term partners were reassured that in spite of all the complications and tragedy in Iraq and Syria, that we must not lose sight of the fact that the Kurdistan Regional Government has developed a very sophisticated and fast developing economy.

Massive opportunities both in Kurdistan and regionally are still available, so businessmen should think long-term, and in spite of the situation on the borders, Erbil and the main centres are all still safe to visit. This is why Pathfinder Executive Chairman & CEO Michael Thomas will lead a trade delegation to Erbil in early 2015. Security will be provided, and further information can be obtained here.