BELFAST, Northern Ireland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OCO Global is delighted to announce the acquisition of the British Centres for Business (BCB) from the British Business Groups (BBG) of Abu Dhabi and Dubai & the Northern Emirates. The BCB will now become part of OCO’s growing international network with continued focus on helping UK businesses access the growing opportunities in the region. OCO also plans to scale the Dubai operation to provide a broader suite of services across its international client base, through the parallel establishment of its own Dubai branch with the BCB.
OCO’s decision to establish in Dubai is closely linked with business sentiment and growing interest in the region for both trade and investment, especially in the wake of Brexit. Commenting on the decision, OCO’s CEO, Mark O'Connell, said,
"We have already seen evidence in the last six months of British firms taking an increased interest in the region to diversify their geographical spread and take advantage of the buoyant and growing demands of the region. Our decision has not been determined solely by Brexit however as we work with dynamic and fast growing SMEs on an international basis. The UAE has been a significant trade/logistical hub between east and west for many years. Increasingly the Emirates has asserted its influence on global trade with its ambitious foreign direct investment attraction policies, development of world class infrastructure, and Dubai offers a model of stability and good governance in a challenging region of the world. This combination makes it a very attractive option for ambitious companies.”
As well as helping international companies establish in Dubai, Mr. O’Connell also outlined the opportunity to work with regional Governments to assist with their economic development efforts.
“Many of the Middle East economies are dialing up economic development policies to attract new investment, reduce dependence on petrochemical industries, and offer their young educated people opportunities to work for international firms. We hope to support this journey and are already working with the governments of Ras al Khaimah, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to advance these ambitions. In addition, many of our US and European based Government clients are also already heavily committed to FDI attraction from the region so we anticipate the Dubai operation will also help to better service their needs.
The BCB was established three years ago with seed funding from the Department of International Trade (DIT) under the joint ownership of the two UAE BBGs and the staunch support of Dubai Government, through Dubai FDI. Building on best practice frameworks and the service offerings of DIT, the organisation has already supported hundreds of UK businesses providing a unique market-entry incubation platform and further trade services including research, commercial orientation, visit support etc. This acquisition also underlines how the public private partnership approach can effectively drive trade services.
Joe Hepworth who leads the Dubai operation commented, “The BCB evolved quickly into a sustainable commercial independent entity with great support and stewardship from DIT and the BBGs. We will continue to offer clients high quality services in the region as part of the OCO network and we look forward to continued growth and expansion.”
Notes to Editors
1) OCO Global is a leading specialist provider of Trade and Investment services including Market Entry Support, business intelligence for Trade and Investment, trade mission support, business development, advisory, trends analysis and software solutions. Headquartered in Northern Ireland, OCO has offices in leading markets globally including UK, Germany, France, Japan, UAE and the US. OCO’s clients include leading national, state and regional economic development organizations as well as private companies seeking to enter new markets or grow their domestic base.
2) The British Business Group in the UAE has two branches, in Dubai and the Northern Emirates and in Abu Dhabi. Together they actively promote business between the UK and the UAE by providing a forum for the resident and visiting British business community through regular meetings, special interest groups, presentations and social events. In particular, they help UK companies identify new business opportunities in the UAE. Working closely with the DIT teams at the British Embassies in both locations (the UAE is unique in having two British Embassies) they provide a valuable and dynamic bridge with aspiring new entrants to the market, by providing advice and help to British trade missions, business groups and visitors to the country. Together both BBGs in the UAE have more than 3,000 members and their work is guided and supported by Committees and administrative offices in both centres which manage a busy calendar of networking activities for members and visitors. The BBG in Abu Dhabi produces a magazine every quarter about new developments and business successes, which is distributed to members and other stakeholders in the growth of the UK’s trade with the UAE, which is available on its website. See www.bbgdubai.org and www.britishbusiness.org.