SYDNEY — Small and medium sized businesses in Cape Breton can access markets in the Middle East, says a Sydney business consultant who recently attended a trade mission in the area.
Rany Ibrahim, president of RSI Management Solutions, last week took part in a trade mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to gather information on how small- and medium-sized businesses can gain access to global markets.
The trade mission was organized by Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI), the provincial Department of Environment and Labour, and EduNova, a co-operative industry association of education and training providers in Nova Scotia.
“There are some local businesses interested in exporting products,” Ibrahim said. “We took part in the trade mission to explore opportunities on their behalf, to study the market, report back to them, and perform due diligence for local businesses trying to access markets in that part of the world.”
Ibrahim says NSBI and its partners have been studying Middle Eastern markets for over three years. “The environmental sector is huge in this market,” he says. “Though these countries are producing so much fuel, they know it will eventually run out. Investing in renewable energy, such as wind energy and solar energy, is the plan for the future in the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf Co-operation Council.”
While there is demand in the environmental sector, Ibrahim says there are opportunities across all sectors, and on this trade mission his business represented local technology, training, and manufacturing companies.
“With the economic challenges we face in our area,” Ibrahim said, “it’s important for small businesses to know there is an opportunity to access these markets. We live in a global market, and we aren’t competing with businesses in Halifax, but businesses in Europe and elsewhere in the world.”
Ibrahim, who decided to make his home in Cape Breton after earning a Masters of Business Administration from Cape Breton University, was born in Egypt and grew up with Arabic as his first language. He says his familiarity with the Middle East gives him a great advantage in helping local businesses access markets there.
RSI Management Solutions recently joined the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative in which participating businesses commit to operations and strategies in accordance with 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.