Earlier this week, Austrade hosted a webinar that focussed on providing information to businesses about how to discover new markets and opportunities through ‘Doing business in the Middle East’. Miles Morgan was one of three businesses invited to speak about their experiences of doing business in the Middle East, joined by speakers from Austrade.
The speakers included:
- Mark Morley, Senior Trade Commissioner, Austrade Saudi Arabia
- Gerard Seeber, Senior Trade Commissioner, Austrade Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
- Cynthia Dearin, Managing Director, Dearin Associates
- David Yates, Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
- Barbara Macnish, CEO, Miles Morgan Australia
Miles Morgan worked in conjunction with the Saudi Arabian Government in the creation and implementation of the Kingdom’s first national quality framework for career education and development for a number of years.
Barbara provided valuable insights into the Saudi culture and aspects of every day working life. She emphasised the importance of understanding and observing cultural traditions as being crucial for successful business interactions in the Middle East.
On the business front, Barbara highlighted that there is a very different approach to project methodologies and simply replicating an Australian model is not appropriate or advisable. What is required is an open approach to redeveloping a model or framework so that it works for that particular Middle Eastern country and its culture. There are many challenges to working in the Middle East, but also many rewards. Barbara described her experience as one where she
met some of the warmest, loveliest people you’ll ever meet – anywhere.
Key take away points for those wanting to do business in the Middle East – in the first instance, contact Austrade and Efic. They can provide invaluable advice about cultural aspects – in particular for practical social requirements, organising introductions, Export Development grants and performance bonds. Most of all, be open to the experience of working with a different culture: not only will your business grow, there are great opportunities for personal growth too.
For more information about Miles Morgan’s experiences in the Middle East, read the Austrade Case Study on our work in Saudi Arabia.