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News announcement17 November 2023ManamaDirectorate-General for Trade2 min read

7th EU-GCC Business Forum: Redefining Economies for a Sustainable and Diversified Future

Businesses and government leaders from the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council will convene at the 7th EU-GCC Business Forum. a pivotal event set to redefine economic collaboration in the post-pandemic era.

Scheduled for 21 November 2023 in Manama, Bahrain, this forum presents an opportunity for policymakers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and visionaries to  explore how to further develop business opportunities between the EU and the GCC.

With the theme 'Redefining Economies - Building a Sustainable and Diversified Future', the forum focuses on collaboration and innovation as key drivers of economic growth, social prosperity, and environmental responsibility. As the EU emerges as the GCC's second-largest trade partner and biggest investment partner, the forum will explore the vast potential of collective strengths in innovation, renewable energy, and digital economy.

Mr. Michael Hager, Head of Cabinet of the European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, also responsible for trade, said ahead of the forum: “Total trade in goods between the two regions grew more than 54% from 2021 to 2022 and reached 175 billion EUR, which shows the importance of the trade relationship between the EU and the GCC. I look forward to opening this year’s edition of our joint Business Forum, a great opportunity to collaborate further for a sustainable future. The EU is fully committed to working alongside the GCC to meet our shared goals and build a resilient economy."

Special Representative of the European Union for the Gulf region, Mr. Luigi di Maio, expressed his joy to be able to attend the forum: “I am looking forward very much to attend the first EU-GCC Business Forum since the start of my mandate. The deepening of trade and investment relations between the two regions is a major pillar of our joint efforts towards a strategic partnership with our Gulf partners as agreed in the Joint Communication of the European Commission and the EU High Representative. I am impressed by the scale of joint business opportunities against the background of the different national transformative visions and the recently agreed India-Middle East Economic Corridor (IMEC).”

Key topics at the forum will include sustainable energy mix and energy security, circular economy, green logistics and transport, and economic empowerment of women. The event aims to increase trade and investment opportunities, foster access to new markets, share knowledge and best practices, expand the green economy, and encourage SMEs and entrepreneurship.

For registration and to view the list of speakers, please visit


Publication date
17 November 2023
Directorate-General for Trade
Country or region
  • Gulf region
Trade topics
  • Trade policy