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Chairman's Update - 26th November 2023

Discover Ammar Mirza CBE's week: International expansion, innovative collaborations, and inclusive leadership in action

Following his visit to Saudi Arabia last week, Ammar has had a busy week connecting, supporting and promoting the whole community in the North East.

  • Showcasing North East's Strengths to Shurfah Representatives: This week, Ammar proudly presented the North East's unique qualities to Ahmed Al Bedaie, Muntaser Kalahji, and Nabil Alrajeh from Shurfah. Their discussions centered on global growth plans driven by innovation and education, reflecting the region's capabilities in these areas.

  • Investment Roundtable with RBC Brewin Dolphin: Ammar joined forces with Chris Black and the RBC Brewin Dolphin team for an investment roundtable. Key finance and investment leaders gathered to discuss why the North East is a prime location for inward investment, emphasising the region's infrastructure and skilled workforce.

  • Authentic British Culinary Experience: A delightful "Best of British" lunch was enjoyed at the Northern Counties Club. The event was graced by the presence of Lucy Winskell OBE LL, a passionate advocate for the region.

  • Engagement with Civic Leaders: Ammar guided guests through Northumberland Street to the Newcastle City Council Civic Centre, hosted by Lord Mayor Cllr Veronica Dunn. The visit highlighted the region's leadership in industrial, innovation, and inclusion sectors.

  • Promoting Regional Assets to Saudi-based Organisations: Ammar showcased the region's assets to potential Saudi investors. The partnership with Ali Alwabel Saudi Business Links and the launch of the international trade centre at AirView Park were key highlights, demonstrating the region's readiness for global partnerships.

  • ABCurry Club and Armed Forces Covenant Signing: The day concluded with a successful ABCurry Club event, witnessing regional organisations committing to the Armed Forces Covenant. This event, led by the Asian Business Connexions and 101 Regiment Royal Artillery, symbolised the region's commitment to inclusive growth.

  • Bilateral Discussions and Airport Engagement: The day began and ended at Newcastle International Airport, emphasising its status as a world-class transport hub. Discussions at Deloitte offices, led by experts like Stephen Hall and David Hicks, provided insights into investment taxation, showcasing the UK, and particularly the North East, as an attractive investment destination.

  • Educational Roundtable with Leading Universities: A significant roundtable discussion with Newcastle University, Durham University, Teesside, University of Sunderland, and Northumbria University focused on skills and education opportunities aligned with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 and the region's economic ambitions.

  • Exploring Regional Connectivity and Transport Innovations: A tour on the regional metro, organised by Nexus and Catherine Massarella, demonstrated the area's excellent connectivity and future growth plans in transportation.

  • Highlighting Regional International Strategy: The visit to AirView Park underscored the region's strategic position for inward investment, with Mike Clark discussing various opportunities and the endorsement from Saudi Business Links.

  • Celebrating Regional Achievements and Partnerships: Discussions with key figures like Jonny Mercer MP, Sir John Hall, and Ambassador John Bolton celebrated the North East's economy and community, while meetings with Grand Gosforth Hotel and Advance Northumberland focused on future collaborations and innovative projects.

At ABC, we believe in the power of inclusion and the strength that comes from creating partnerships. We are looking for new Board members to help us deliver this. If you are interested, please contact us at

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